Funded: State Policy Analysis

A Detailed Look at Each State's Funding Policies

Below, see summaries of the state’s education funding policy in each issue area. Click the Expand icon next to any summary to see more detail, if available, about that state’s policy regarding that issue area. Click the Citation icon
next to any summary to see the sources of the information regarding that issue area.
Oklahoma
Funding Basics
Formula Type

Oklahoma has a primarily student-based funding formula. It assigns a cost to the education of a student with no special needs or services, called a base amount. It then accounts for the additional cost of educating specific categories of students mainly by applying multipliers to that amount to generate supplemental funding for those students.

The categories of students generating supplemental funding in Oklahoma are students in certain grade levels, low-income students, English language learners, students with disabilities, students identified as gifted, and students in sparsely populated or small districts.

References:
Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 70, § 18-201.1
Base Amount

Oklahoma has a fixed base funding amount per student. For FY2016, the per-student base amount was $3,049.80. This figure is the sum of two kinds of aid: foundation aid in the amount of $1,599.00, and salary incentive aid in the amount of $1,450.80.

This means that an average student with no special needs or disadvantages would be funded in the amount of $3,049.80.

References:
Ivester, Kimberly. Assistant Director of State Aid. Oklahoma State Department of Education. Email message to EdBuild. May 31, 2016.
Oklahoma State Department of Education. State Aid Allocation 2015-16. Oklahoma City, OK: Oklahoma
State Department of Education, November 2015.
Expected Local Share

Oklahoma expects both school districts and counties to contribute revenue to the funding of public schools. The amount each district or county is expected to raise for its education costs is based on its property values. The state authorizes, and in some cases expects, districts and counties to impose seven different taxes for its schools.

Each district is expected to raise $15.00 for every thousand dollars of assessed local property wealth, and is authorized to impose two separate and additional taxes: a so-called Emergency levy of up to $5.00 per thousand dollars of property value, and a levy of up to $10.00 per thousand dollars of property value that must be approved by the voters. Both of these additional taxes are levied as a matter of course at the maximum level in all districts. Each county is expected to impose a tax of $15.00 per thousand dollars of property value, of which $5.00 is earmarked for the county’s school districts, and to impose a separate tax of $4.00 per thousand dollars of property value, all of which is for education.

Once the state calculates the total amount of funding necessary to educate students within a district, it subtracts the amount that should be raised by the district $15.00 tax and 75% of the amount that should be raised by the county $4.00 tax, as well as the revenue from a number of local sources, including motor vehicle collections, gross production collections, school land collections, and Rural Electric Association Cooperative taxes, and provides the difference in the form of Foundation Aid. The state also provides Salary Incentive Aid, which supports staff salaries in school districts; the state calculates an amount for each district, subtracts the amount that would be raised by the remaining three taxes combined ($20.00 per thousand dollars of property wealth), and provides the difference in the form of Salary Incentive Aid. Separate from all of the above, districts are empowered to impose two additional taxes: a tax of up to $5.00 per thousand dollars of property wealth for the district’s building fund, and a tax to support the district’s sinking fund, which may be as high as necessary to support the construction bonds issued by the district.

References:
Financial Services Division. Oklahoma State Department of Education. Oklahoma School Finance
Technical Assistance Document. Oklahoma City, OK: Oklahoma State Department of Education Financial Services Division, January 2014.
Oklahoma State Department of Education. State Aid Allocation 2015-16. Oklahoma City, OK: Oklahoma
State Department of Education, November 2015.
Student Characteristics
Grade Level

Oklahoma provides different amounts of funding for students in different grade levels.  It does so by applying multipliers to the base per-pupil amount for students in four different grade spans within grades K-12: the base amount is multiplied by 1.5 for students in kindergarten (or 1.3 for students in half-day kindergarten); by 1.351 for students in grades 1-2; by 1.051 for students in grade 3; and by 1.2 for students in grades 7-12. Students in grades 4-6 are funded at the base amount.

The state also provides program-based allocations in the amount of $76.87 per student in grades K-3 to support reading instruction and $11.26 per student in grades 8-12 for technology funding.

In addition, the state specifically provides funding for sparsely populated districts that is partially dependent on grade level; see “Sparsity” for a description of this allocation.

References:
 
Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 70, § 18-201.1
Oklahoma State Department of Education. FY2016 ACE Technology Allocation. Oklahoma City, OK:
Oklahoma State Department of Education, January 2016.
Oklahoma State Department of Education. RSA Allocation/Payment Worksheet. Oklahoma City, OK:
Oklahoma State Department of Education, December 2015.
English Language Learner

Oklahoma provides increased funding for English language learners. It does so by applying a multiplier of 1.25 to the base per-pupil amount for these students.

All students defined as English language learners under Title III of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act are eligible to receive this supplemental funding.

The funding is actually provided in an amount equal to .25 times the per-pupil base amount, distributed in addition to the student’s own base amount funding, which is first adjusted for grade level.

References:
Ivester, Kimberly. Assistant Director of State Aid. Oklahoma State Department of Education. Email message to EdBuild. May 31, 2016.
Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 70, §70-18-201.1
Student Poverty

Oklahoma provides increased funding for students from low-income households. It does so by applying a multiplier of 1.25 to the base per-pupil amount for these students.

Students are eligible for this supplemental funding if they qualify for free or reduced-price lunch under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). For students who do not have access to a meal under the NSLP (for instance, full-time virtual students or students attending classes at a Career Technical Center during their home districts’ meal times), NSLP eligibility data is not collected. These students are counted for the purposes of this supplemental funding in one of two ways: either they are directly certified as low-income though participation in other social service programs (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, or the Federal Head Start program) or because they are homeless, a runaway, a migrant, or a foster child, or they submit an application to be classified as economically disadvantaged based on household income.

The funding is actually provided in an amount equal to .25 times the per-pupil base amount, distributed in addition to the student’s own base amount funding, which is first adjusted for grade level.

References:
McWaters, R. State Aid Formula Funding. Oklahoma City, OK: Oklahoma State Department of Education,
2015.
Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 70, § 8-201.1
Oklahoma State Department of Education. Economic Disadvantaged Application Instructions. Oklahoma
City, OK: Oklahoma State Department of Education, 2016.
Special Education

Oklahoma funds special education using a multiple student weights system, providing different levels of funding for different categories of students. Students are assigned to 13 different categories based on their specific disabilities.

It does so by applying different multipliers to the base per-pupil amount for students in these categories. The multipliers range from 1.05 to 4.80, depending on a student's primary disability. Students may also be assigned to a secondary disability category from the same list. Secondary disabilities generate the same amount of supplemental funds Primary Disabilities, but do not include the base funding, so weights range from .05 to 3.80. A student's education plan may also list required Related Services connected to a disability category (such as audiology services, which are related to the Hearing Impairment disability category). When a student receives a service, he or she may generate additional funding for the disability with which that service is connected.

When a student has all three (a primary disability, a secondary disability, and related services), the student’s funding will first be adjusted for the primary disability; then, the state will review the secondary disability and the related service to determine which of the two entries is associated with a higher funding amount, and only that amount will be added to the Primary Disability weight. If a student's related service relates to his or her primary disability, the student is only weighted once for that disability. The state also provides scholarships for disabled students whose parents send them to approved private schools.

References:
Axtell, R. & McWaters R. Guidance for Determining Weights for Special Education Funding Average Daily
Membership (ADM). Oklahoma State Department of Education. Oklahoma City, OK: Oklahoma State Department of Education, May 2015.
Oklahoma State Department of Education. Lindsey Nicole Henry (LNH) Scholarship Program for Children
with Disabilities. Oklahoma City, OK: Oklahoma State Department of Education, 2016.
Gifted

Oklahoma provides additional resources for gifted and talented students. It does so by applying a multiplier of 1.34 to the base per-pupil for these students.

The number of students generating funding for this purpose is the lesser of the sum of the number of students scoring in the top 3% on any national standardized test of intellectual ability and the number of students formally identified as gifted, or the sum of the number of students who scored in the top 3% on any national standardized test of intellectual ability plus 8% of the total enrollment of the school district.

The funding is actually provided in an amount equal to .34 times the per-pupil base amount, distributed in addition to the student’s own base amount funding, which is first adjusted for grade level.

References:
Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 70, § 18-201.1
Career and Technical Education

Oklahoma does not provide specific funding for career and technical education programs.

Community Characteristics
District Poverty

Oklahoma does not provide increased funding based on the concentration of students from low-income households in a particular district.

Sparsity and/or Small Size

Oklahoma provides increased funding for sparse school districts through its transportation funding system. The state also provides districts with supplemental funding through either a formula that inflates the student count for sparse districts to generate extra funding or one that does the same for small school districts, whichever would produce the larger amount.

Oklahoma’s transportation system provides districts with an allowance per transported pupil that is then multiplied by a sparsity factor $33 to $167, depending on the density of the district. The formula for sparse districts applies only to districts with above-average square mileage and a number of students per mile that is one-fourth of the state average. For these districts, a district cost factor is determined based on the district’s enrollments in different grade bands, an area cost factor is determined based on the district’s area relative to the state average are, and the two factors are multiplied by each other to produce the multiplier to be applied to the district’s total enrollment to inflate the student count. This inflated student count generates extra funding for the district.

 The formula for small districts applies only to districts with fewer than 529 students. The amount of funding to which each small district is determined is calculated by subtracting the district’s enrollment from 529, dividing the difference by 529, and multiplying the quotient by .2 to produce a multiplier to be applied to the district’s total enrollment to inflate the student count. This inflated student count generates extra funding for the district.

References:
Ivester, Kimberly. Assistant Director of State Aid. Oklahoma State Department of Education. Email message to EdBuild. May 31, 2016.
Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 70, § 18-200.1
Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 70, § 18-201.1