Executive Orders Seek to Force More Efficient State Spending

Nov 22, 2017

Governor Mary Fallin issued an executive order Tuesday directing the State Board of Education to consolidate some school district administrations.

First, Fallin wants the State Board of Education to compile a list of school districts that spend less than 60 percent of their budget on classroom instruction.

Then, she wants the board to use that list to find districts that could consolidate their administrative services, meaning they could share superintendents, maintenance crews, or payroll departments.

Fallin says she's issuing this charge to strengthen the public's confidence in the way state dollars are spent on education.

"There are ways that we can find more efficiency. To get more money to teachers and to pay."

Fallin's executive order directs the districts to reallocate any saved funds back into the classroom. She says she wants these consolidations to be in effect by the fall of 2020.

In addition, Fallin issued two other executive orders. One order directs state regents to develop a plan to consolidate the administrative costs of universities, colleges, centers, and branch campuses by December 2018.

"These two education reform directives will lead to better education outcomes and wiser use of existing resources. We owe it to our taxpayers and students to be good stewards of their money."

The third executive order deals with so-called swag item purchases by state agencies. It directs the directors of state agencies to not purchase nonessential items, such as pens, cups, trophies, bumper stickers and book bags. A bill proposing to eliminate the purchases of many of the same items failed during the past session.