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Teacher Bonuses Among Items Cut by Ed. Board (Jun 23, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Funding for bonuses for National Board-certified teachers at Oklahoma schools are among items cut in a budget approved by the state Board of Education.

By a 4-3 vote, the board on Thursday approved the public school activities portion of the state's education budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. State Superintendent Janet Barresi, who led the proposal's development, cast the tiebreaking vote.

The $401 million activities budget includes full funding for health benefits for teachers and support staff and for state payments into the Teachers' Retirement System of Oklahoma.

The state won't provide the $5,000 bonus for National Board-certified teachers but will encourage local districts to do so.

Barresi says Oklahoma's ongoing state budget woes forced the state Department of Education to make "heartbreaking" choices concerning funding levels.

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