Oklahoma's legislative leaders announced a new $6.8 billion budget that is essentially flat compared to the one issued last year , The Tulsa World reports.

Public school funding won't increase, but there is new funding for teacher health care benefits and merit bonuses, which were funded through supplemental appropriations this year.

"Oklahomans deserve a conservative budget that reflects our values," said Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman (R-Sapulpa), according to the Tulsa World.

Democrats were critical of the budget, and in particular the lack of new funding for schools. Keith Ballard, superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools, said it would be "appalling" and "illogical" if there was no new funding for public education, according to the newspaper.

Funding for higher education and vocational programs is also down from its 2009 levels, said Sen. Sean Burrage (D-Claremore), the Senate minority leader.