Bill Could Move Oklahoma Schools To County-Based Superintendents

Dec 12, 2015

State Sen. Patrick Anderson, R-Enid
Credit Oklahoma State Senate

A bill in the Oklahoma Senate could reduce the number of school district administrators in the state by moving to a county-based superintendent system.

eCapitol reports that Sen. Patrick Anderson (R-Enid) filed the measure after an interim study earlier this year. Oklahoma has 77 counties and 521 school districts.

According to Anderson, the state could save up to $40 million dollars if the state uses the county model.

Garvin County, where Anderson resides, has eight school districts and approximately 11,000 students. Around 8,000 of them attend Enid Public Schools, which has one superintendent. The remaining 3,000 students attend seven different school districts all with their own superintendent.

Oklahoma used to have a county-based superintendent system, but it was scrapped in 1990 by a law signed by former governor Henry Bellmon. That law was intended to increase funding for public schools.

Anderson's bill proposes a five-year phase in period. A county school board of education would govern each school district. Under the proposal, each county's board of education of the school district with the highest average daily membership as of June 30, 2020 will be the county's school board and all others will be dissolved.

As a community-supported news organization, KGOU relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online, or by contacting our Membership department.