OKLAHOMA CITY – The Senate approved legislation Monday by Sen. Jessica Garvin, R-Duncan, to give schools more flexibility in how and when they spend general carryover funds. SB 1126 would remove the carryover caps for such funds, allowing schools to better plan and save for future needs.
“We must stop penalizing our local districts for being fiscally responsible and wanting to save unused general funds for essential future expenses,” Garvin said. “This change would stop the often wasteful and unnecessary district spending happening statewide to avoid losing funding. Instead, my bill will encourage and support responsible long-term strategic planning to improve educational outcomes through technological and infrastructure upgrades, hiring and retention incentives, and other critical areas. School financial decisions should be based on needs, not calendar deadlines.”
SB 1126 would require carryover funds be reported to the State Department of Education (SDE) and would also modify the School District Transparency Act by adding such funds to the list of financial information to be published online by the agency. School district and school site expenditures of state, federal, and local funds are already available online.
Current law contains caps on how much a school district may carry over from one fiscal year to the next in its general fund. These are funds that school districts hold in reserve for emergencies or to use during July when they do not receive a state aid apportionment. A school district’s state aid can be reduced if it exceeds the caps; however, the financial penalties have been waived since FY’21 and will continue through FY’24. Garvin’s bill would remove the caps altogether.
The bill now moves to the House for further consideration where Rep. Marcus McEntire, R-Duncan, is carrying it.
For more information, contact: Sen. Garvin: (405) 521-5522 or Jessica.Garvin@oksenate.gov