New law helps with school tech costs; tech districts could get boost
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Published: 08-Feb-2010

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 08-Feb-2010

Last Friday, Governor Brad Henry signed Senate Bill 749, the first new bill passed in the 2010 legislative session. The measure was co-sponsored by state Rep. Marian Cooksey and Sens. Gary Stanislawski and Clark Jolley.

Previously, Cooksey praised the Legislature for passing the measure, which clarifies current language to allow schools more flexibility for purchasing electronic media content, license agreements and any associated hardware and software necessary for training.

“Currently, district bonds are used by schools to purchase items such as textbooks, uniforms and computer software, but schools were having to purchase the license agreements for the computer software out of their general funding,” said Cooksey. The new law allows schools to use district bonds for these purchases.

S.B. 749 was originally filed in 2009 and carried over to 2010. It received a final vote in the Oklahoma House last week, passing 68-31.

Also last week, the House Higher Education and Career Technology Committee passed a bill to would allow technology school districts to use building funds for computer repair and equipment. House Bill 2274, by state Rep. Todd Thomsen, would help technology school districts pay information technology staff salaries.

Thomsen, an Ada Republican, said the legislation gives technology districts more flexibility in management of funds: “Computer equipment is a core necessity at these schools and therefore is a proper use of their building funds. In a year of budget cuts, this is one way to give schools more flexibility and the greatest use from existing funds.”

H.B. 2274 will be heard next on the House floor.

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