Why Saving The Income Tax Is Critical For Public Education

1. Income tax is essential to school funding. This year, Oklahoma’s public schools received $743.4 million from the personal income tax, which represents the equivalent of salary and benefits for almost 17,000 public school teachers.

2. Public education is already suffering from budget cuts. In the past three years, funding to school districts through the state aid formula has been slashed by $222 million, while public schools enrollment has grown by 22,000 students. With fewer teachers and support staff, class sizes are rising and students have fewer course options and services.

3. Tax cuts do not make public education a priority. While there is no additional money to support public schools, the Governor’s budget allocates $111 million to partially fund her plan to cut the income tax – a plan that will cost at least $340 million, and perhaps much more, in lost revenue in its first full year.

4. If we don’t fund education properly, Oklahoma will not prosper. Economic developers and businesses continually rank a well-educated workforce as the number one factor they look at for recruiting new businesses or expanding. How are we going to equip our children with the skills and education they need, if we continue to cut education funding and push Oklahoma to 50th in the nation in per pupil investments?

What You Can Do Today

1. Get Informed. Resources to learn more about the income tax debate are freely available athttps://okpolicy.org/take-action

2. Contact Elected Officials. Let your elected representatives and the top officials who are making decisions on taxes and the budget know how you feel. Your voice can be heard!

Speaker Kris Steele (405) 557-7345 krissteele@okhouse.gov
Rep. Earl Sears, Chair of House Appropriations and Budget committee (405) 557-7358earl.sears@okhouse.gov
Senate Pro Tem Brian Bingman (405) 521-5528 bingman@oksenate.gov
Senator Clark Jolley, Chair of Senate Appropriations Committee (405) 521-5622jolley@oksenate.gov
Governor Mary Fallin  (405) 521-2342 click here to email the Governor
Find your state legislators’ contact information here and see how to contact Governor Fallin here. You can also reach your legislators through the House switchboard at (405) 521-2711 or 1-800-522-8502  and the Senate switchboard at (405) 524-0126 or 1-800-865-6490.

CLICK HERE for the PDF version of this factsheet


Oklahoma Policy Insititute (OK Policy) advances equitable and fiscally responsible policies that expand opportunity for all Oklahomans through non-partisan research, analysis, and advocacy.

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