Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bill Benefiting Classroom Teachers Signed into Law

OKLAHOMA CITY (May 25, 2011) – Oklahomans will have a new way to financially support teachers thanks to an income tax checkoff program signed into law today.
Rep. Jabar Shumate
House Bill 1852, by state Rep. Jabar Shumate and state Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, creates the income tax checkoff and the “Public School Classroom Support Revolving Fund.”
“This new law gives Oklahomans a way to provide direct financial support for educational improvements in our school systems,” said Shumate, D-Tulsa. “I am pleased this legislation received such strong bipartisan support from lawmakers and the governor.”
Under the bill, money donated through the voluntary income tax checkoff would be deposited in the “Public School Classroom Support Revolving Fund.”
The State Board of Education, headed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, would use the money collected to provide annual grants to public school classroom teachers for supplies, materials, or equipment. 
Applications will be considered on a statewide competitive basis. 
“The legislation was a request from teachers associated with Professional Oklahoma Educators, and in a tough budget year, this was an innovative way to provide extra funds for the classroom while also encouraging innovation,” Shumate said.
House Bill 1852 passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives on a 93-2 vote and passed unanimously in the state Senate before being signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin.
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