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Coppedge Remarks on ACT Success and Education Funding Wrong According to National Study

OKLAHOMA CITY - A recent study by a nationally recognized research group concludes that national test scores were actually higher in states with greater per-pupil expenditures. That's according to Senator Cal Hobson, Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education.

"Recent comments by Governor Keating's Education Secretary claiming Oklahoma's decade long ACT increases can't be attributed to funding are typical, but they are just plain wrong," said Senator Hobson.

Education Secretary Floyd Coppedge said that improvements in Oklahoma ACT scores had more to do with courses taken by high school students than school spending.

"While it is absolutely necessary for students to have a strong core education including math and science, you cannot offer the kind of curriculum needed along with the latest technology without significant investments," noted Hobson.

Hobson pointed out that this year's gains in ACT scores by Oklahoma Students are part of a ten-year trend.

"There is a direct connection between improved test scores and our renewed commitment to education funding and reform with the passage of House Bill 1017 in 1990," said Hobson.

The Senator also pointed to a recent study by the Rand Corporation that concluded that national test scores were higher in states that have:

  • Higher per-pupil expenditures
  • Lower pupil-teacher ratio in lower grades
  • Higher percentages of teachers reporting adequate resources for teaching
  • More children in public pre-kindergarten programs
  • Lower teacher turnover

"The study says that not only are high per-pupil expenditures related to higher test scores, but that adequate instructional material for students and teachers were also essential. Those things all take money. If you want more math and science teachers, more high-tech tools in the classroom, more textbooks, it takes money," said Hobson.

"The Governor's own appointee to the State Board of Education, Luke Corbett understands that more, not less funding is needed to continue to improve our public schools."

"Secretary Coppedge is sadly misinformed if he really believes the legislature has "blindly increased school budgets." The fact is, we have carefully considered and approved key appropriations aimed at retaining Oklahoma's best and brightest teachers, and making more computers and other tools available in the classroom. And those investments are paying off with higher test scores and a brighter future for our state," said Senator Hobson.

Contact info
Senate Communications Division - (405) 521-5605