In 2010, Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly rejected State Question 744, which would have required education funding to increase by more than $1 billion over several years. This year, voters in five states — Arizona, Missouri, South Dakota, Oregon and California — face similar measures that involve tax increases to boost education spending.
The measures range from a sales tax hike in Arizona to income tax increases in California. At least those ballot measures are transparent about who will pay the price. Oklahoma’s SQ 744 provided no such details. The proposed massive infusion of money would have been the largest unfunded mandate in Oklahoma history.
Sadly, those pushing for higher education funding in Oklahoma — such as the group “49th is Not OK” — continue to duck that issue. They refuse to say what taxes they’d raise or what programs they’d cut to boost K-12 funding, which already gets 34 percent of all state appropriations.