MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

January 18, 2014

Most schools take cut in mid-term funding

Fort Gibson sees a 6 percent drop

By Cathy Spaulding
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Fort Gibson School officials hope an increase in local tax collections could make up for a 6 percent drop in state funding.

Schools across the area can expect slightly less in per-student funding from the state.

A chart of mid-term state allocations released this month by the Oklahoma Department of Education shows Fort Gibson receiving $3.47 million in state aid for 2014, down $205,896 from what the state originally had allocated for the district at the start of the 2014 school year. That represents a decrease of 5.9 percent.

Mid-term adjustments are based on current year enrollment and a district’s local financial support.

Fort Gibson School Superintendent Derald Glover said the allocation is $228,000 less than what it was at the end of the 2013 school year. He said he expected the decrease.

“We kind of knew we’d be operating in deficit mode this year to make sure we maintain quality,” he said. “We just hope state revenues will pick back up.”

In the 2013 school year, Fort Gibson experienced a 6 percent increase in state mid-term adjustments. At the time, Glover said the increased funding would help the district refill some vacant positions.

As for the 2014 adjustment, he attributed the state’s decrease to an increase in property tax valuation, a major source of local support. Glover said the district could see a $240,000 increase in property taxes.

“We just have to hope the property taxes are collected,” he said.

“My main concern is the reduced amount we are getting per student (from the state),” Glover said.

With mid-term adjustments, the state aid formula decreased by $6.60 per pupil, said Tricia Pemberton, senior communications specialist with the Oklahoma Department of Education. She said the figure was reduced because of the growth of the total number of students in Oklahoma public schools.

She said average daily attendance statewide grew by 10,047 students from the last of the 2013 school year to the start of this school year.

Other area districts will see little change in their allocations.

Muskogee Public Schools will receive $16.9 million for mid-term adjustment, down $392,262 or 2.2 percent from the start of the 2014 school year.

MPS Chief Financial Officer John Little said the decrease was what officials had expected.

Hilldale Public Schools’ mid-term adjusted allocation went up 0.4 percent, or $24,510 to $5,997,019.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogeephoenix.com.

2014 Mid-term allocations

District    Initial 2014 allocation    Adjusted allocation    Difference    Percent change

MUSKOGEE COUNTY

• Fort Gibson    $3,470,244      $3,264,348    $(205,896)    -5.9

• Muskogee    $17,387,826      $16,995,564    $(392,262)    -2.2

• Hilldale     $5,972,509      $5,997,019     $24,510    +0.4

• Wainwright    $632,978      $614,530    $(18,448)    -2.9

• Haskell    $2,984,802      $2,949,703    $(35,099)    -1.7

• Webbers Falls    $1,032,174      $1,024,242     $(7,932)    -0.7

• Oktaha    $2,994,603      $2,943,653    $(50,950)    -1.7

• Braggs    $700,278      $734,952    $34,674     +4.9

• Warner    $2,618,466      $2,587,492    $(30,974)    -1.5

• Porum    $2,048,251      $2,024,998    $(23,253)    -1.1

McINTOSH COUNTY

• Eufaula    $3,948,281      $3,918,337    $(29,944)    -0.7

• Checotah    $5,198,921      $5,139,196    $(59,725)    -1.1

• Midway    $849,445    $966,445    $117,000     +13.7

CHEROKEE COUNTY

• Lowrey    $630,528    $621,922    $(8,606)    -1.3

• Norwood    $796,271    $788,200    $(8,071)    -1

• Woodall    $2,160,872    $2,142,316    $(18,556)    -0.8

• Shady Grove    $781,438    $806,023    $24,585     +3.1

• Peggs    $1,219,280    $1,202,404    $(16,876)    -1.3

• Grand View    $1,995,680    $2,308,662     $312,982 +15.6

• Briggs    $2,130,838    $2,128,899    $(1,939)    -0.09

• Tenkiller    $1,561,483    $1,548,867    $(12,616)    -0.8

• Keys    $2,782,798    $2,721,529    $(61,269)    -2.2

• Hulbert    $2,095,131    $2,230,968    $135,837     +6.4

• Tahlequah    $12,843,556    $12,762,555    $(81,001)    -0.6

• Cherokee Immersion Charter School    $551,384    $248,123    $(303,261)    -54.9

WAGONER COUNTY

• Wagoner    $8,152,391      $8,040,897     $(111,494)    -1.3

• Okay    $1,670,662      $1,657,891      $(12,771)    -0.7

• Porter    $1,832,597      $1,781,247     $(51,350)    -2.8

SEQUOYAH COUNTY

• Gore    $1,669,997      $1,642,183    $(27,814)    -1.6

Source: Oklahoma Department of Education