school consolidation

Emily Wendler / KOSU

Education leaders in Oklahoma say Gov. Mary Fallin’s executive order on school consolidation oversimplified a very complicated issue.

The November 21 order directs school districts that don’t spend at least 60 percent of their budget on instruction to consolidate administrative staff with other districts. A strict interpretation of this rule would force most Oklahoma school districts to cut an administrator, or a support staff person, and then find a way to split that cost with a neighboring district.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill about the upcoming Super Tuesday Presidential Primary election including recent visits to the Sooner State by candidates, the Libertarian Party gathers enough signatures to be placed on the ballot along with the Republicans and Democrats and a bill to delay the current tax cut makes it out of committee.

Emily Wendler / KOSU

Every time there’s a budget shortfall, state legislators talk about consolidating Oklahoma’s 516 school districts as a way to save money. 

This year, legislators filed eight different school consolidation bills. They each had their own unique way to go about it, but overall the goal was to cut school administration costs.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill about the official budget shortfall for lawmakers grows to $1.3B, officials announce an extra $43M for education after telling schools to expect a $19M cut and the state Supreme Court upholds the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship Act.

okhouse.gov

Legislators took action on two very controversial education bills on Monday. Representative Lee Denney’s school consolidation bill failed in a committee, and Representative Jason Nelson’s Education Savings Account bill passed by a slim 9-8 vote.

Rep. Denney’s HB2824 would have required K-8 school districts with a D or F on the School Report Card to consolidate with a larger district. She said the bill would save money by reducing administration costs and would move more funds in to the classroom.