- Associated Press - Friday, January 20, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - For the first time in state history, nonwhite students collectively make up the majority of total enrollment in Oklahoma public schools.

Enrollment data released Thursday shows nonwhite students now account for 50.6 percent of the total enrollment, The Oklahoman (https://bit.ly/2jxpDrn ) reports. Nearly 700,000 students attend Oklahoma public schools.

White students continue to still be the state’s largest single ethnicity, but the overall white student population in Oklahoma declined by almost 4,000 students from the 2015-2016 school year. Hispanic enrollment, representing Oklahoma’s second largest single ethnicity, increased by more than 4,000 in public schools.

Data shows Oklahoma City Public Schools remain the state’s largest school district, with nearly 46,000 students.

The state saw an overall increase of 1,040 students compared to the previous year.

Education officials say they’re not seeing funding levels keep pace with the increase in students. According to a 2016 report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Oklahoma leads all other states in cuts to education since 2008.

“Oklahoma schools are educating more students than ever before,” state schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said in a statement. “Over the past decade, student enrollment has risen steadily, as have funding challenges. We must do everything we can to maximize our resources in order to serve a growing and increasingly diverse group of Oklahoma schoolchildren.”

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Information from: The Oklahoman, https://www.newsok.com

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