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Moody's Gives Oklahoma Negative Marks for Higher Ed Funding

Matt Trotter

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — One of the nation's top credit rating agencies is giving Oklahoma negative marks for drawing down reserves and slashing funding to higher education in its $6.8 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

But Moody's Investors Service did give the state positive marks in a report released on Monday for shielding its K–12 school districts from deeper cuts than many districts had expected.

Moody's said the Oklahoma budget approved by the Legislature in the final week of the session is credit negative for drawing down reserves to its lowest level in more than 20 years by one measurement. It also gets negative marks for reducing funding to the state's colleges and universities by nearly 16 percent from last year's original appropriation.