With the state looking to cut corners, there is a lot of talk of consolidating the administrations of smaller school districts.
Right now the state has 512 traditional public school districts. Senate Bill 60 could trim some of those down by making districts responsible for coming up with superintendents pay.
Senate Bill 60 would require superintendents’ salaries to be paid using only property, tobacco and vehicle registration taxes, not state subsidies.
Author Senator Ron Sharp, R-Shawnee, says this could reduce the number of superintendents. "There are a few superintendents out there who should perhaps consider consolidating. They should probably become principles, particularly of your small rural areas that are losing student enrollment."
But Shawn Hime of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association doubts the bill will have much impact.
"I don't see where it would in any way reduce the number of superintendents that we have because again, every school gets plenty of money that's not state appropriated dollars from local funds, state dedicated dollars, school, land, motor vehicle, any number of sources that would not make it a change for school funding." Hime said.
Sharp says, if school boards have to use their funds to pay for superintendents pay, they will be more fiscally responsible, so more dollars could be shifted to the classroom.
"The idea that our superintendents are overpaid is really a distraction from the fact that we are underinvesting in public education in Oklahoma," Hime said.
Sharp says his bill will only impact a small percentage of Oklahoma schools. "I would say less than 2-percent would be actually affected by this directly. So again 98-percent would not be affected. But those two percent are going to have to figure out how to work within this system."","published":"2018-12-18T23:29:28.000Z","updated":"2018-12-18T23:38:11.000Z","summary":"With the state looking to cut corners, there is a lot of talk of consolidating the administrations of smaller school districts.