Oklahomans could be asked next November to vote on a dedicated one-cent statewide sales tax for education. As supporters begin their petition drive to put the question on the ballot, many people are weighing the merits and cost of the proposal.
In this Oklahoma Watch report, reporter Brad Gibson examines the pros and cons of a tax hike. Nate Robson contributed with an interview of University of Oklahoma President David Boren. Republican House Speaker Jeff Hickman also weighs in on education spending, though he has not taken a stand on the tax.
On the one hand, Oklahoma ranks sixth in the nation for the highest combined state and average local sales tax rates. On the other hand, Oklahoma ranks near the bottom of all states in per-pupil funding of K-12 education, and in higher education, it struggles to increase the number of residents with post-secondary degrees.