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Okla. Board of Education Seeks $157M Budget Hike (Dec 15, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma State Board of Education is asking for a $157 million budget increase for the upcoming fiscal year to help schools pay for employee benefit costs and restore programs that were slashed last year.

The board approved the $2.4 billion budget request during its regular meeting on Thursday. It seeks about $45 million to fund the Flexible Benefit Allowance for school personnel and a $78 million boost to the fund that distributes aid to all state public schools.

State Superintendent Janet Barresi says she also hopes to restore about $12 million for National Board Certified Teacher bonuses that was slashed from last year's budget. Funding also is being sought for Advanced Placement incentives and charter schools.

Lawmakers will work on the budget when the legislative session begins in February.

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