Communications & Public Affairs
March 4, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: State Rep. Meloyde Blancett
Office: (405) 557-7334
Blancett Passes Bill to Help Teachers In Low-Income School Districts Get Free Classroom Supplies
OKLAHOMA CITY — A bill that helps nonprofits whose purpose is to provide teachers with school supplies for their students in districts with substantial poverty passed the House today with a majority vote.
House Bill 3318, authored by Rep. Meloyde Blancett (D-Tulsa), establishes a sales tax exemption for 501c(3) nonprofits that give free school supplies to teachers of K-12 students that reside in a public school district with mostly low-income families.
Statistics from the National Education Association indicate that Oklahoma teachers – whether from a majority-impoverished district or not – spend on average $459 of their own personal money to buy classroom supplies for their students each school year, including such basic supplies as pencils, pens, notebooks, etc.
The legislation was amended to allow qualifying nonprofits to also provide free supplies to teachers from charter schools that have at least a 60-percent student population at or below the federal poverty level.
“School supplies shouldn’t be a barrier to education in Oklahoma and frankly, our teachers shouldn’t be footing the bill for student and classroom supplies from their own personal pockets,” Blancett said. “If we can get this bill to the governor’s desk, we can help more students and take the burden of supplies off of more teachers”
HB3318 is now eligible to be heard in the Senate.