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Oklahoma school districts

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K-12 Education in Oklahoma
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Education facts
State Superintendent: Janet Barresi
Number of students: 666,120[1]
Number of teachers: 41,349
Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:16.1
Number of school districts: 575
Number of schools: 1,774
Graduation rate: 78%[2]
Per-pupil spending: $7,587[3]
See also
Oklahoma Department of EducationList of school districts in OklahomaOklahomaSchool boards portal
Education policy logo.jpg
Education policy project
Public education in the United States
Public education in Oklahoma
Glossary of education terms

Oklahoma is home to 575 school districts, 1,774 schools and 666,120 K-12 students.[4]

Quick facts

State school administrators


The follow table details the state's top 10 school districts by student enrollment and per-pupil spending.

Student enrollment, 2011-2012[6] Per-pupil spending, 2011-2012[7]
1.) Oklahoma City Public Schools 1.) Plainview Public Schools
2.) Tulsa Public Schools 2.) Greasy Public School
3.) Moore Public Schools 3.) Boley Public Schools
4.) Edmond Public Schools 4.) Dahlonegah Public School
5.) Putnam City Schools 5.) Bell Public School
6.) Broken Arrow Public Schools 6.) Sweetwater Public Schools
7.) Lawton Public Schools 7.) Frontier Public Schools
8.) Norman Public Schools 8.) Reydon Public Schools
9.) Union Public Schools 9.) Wakita Public Schools
10.) Midwest City-Del City Schools 10.) Balko Public Schools


See also: Demographic information for all students in all 50 states

The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in Oklahoma as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.[8]

Demographic information for Oklahoma's K-12 public school system
Ethnicity Students State Percentage United States Percentage**
American Indian 110,617 16.61% 1.10%
Asian 12,340 1.85% 4.68%
African American 65,168 9.78% 15.68%
Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. students 1,833 0.28% 0.42%
Hispanic 87,496 13.14% 24.37%
White 357,497 53.67% 51.21%
Two or more 31,169 4.68% 2.54%
**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.

In the news

Repealing Common Core

On June 5, 2014, Governor Mary Fallin signed a bill to repeal Common Core standards. Because of this, Oklahoma immediately reverted to Priority Academic Student Skills, the standards it had in 2010, prior to adopting Common Core. In addition to repealing Common Core, the bill stipulated that the state set new education standards by 2016, and that those standards be subject to review by the Oklahoma State Legislature.[9][10]

To establish the new state education standards, the state was split into 12 regions by population, and each region was given the ability to develop and suggest new standards. More than 60 percent of the school districts in the state, however, had already changed their curriculum to reflect Common Core standards. Rather than start from scratch, opponents of the repeal said the state should have modified the standards, as an executive order by Gov. Fallin allowed the state to do. Some expressed doubts that the state could establish new standards by 2016, and many expressed concern that the Priority Academic Student Skills standards were not rigorous enough in the meantime.[10][11] Those who supported the decision to repeal Common Core said that growing federal control over the standards had made them complicated and inflexible, and Gov. Fallin said she thought the state could develop better standards than Common Core.[9]

A number of members of the Oklahoma State Board of Education filed a lawsuit with the Oklahoma State Supreme Court to overturn the repeal of Common Core standards.[11]

State law

Common Core

Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. Oklahoma initially adopted the Common Core standards in 2010, but on June 5, 2014, Governor Mary Fallin signed a bill which rejected the new guidelines for math and English scheduled to go into effect during the 2014-2015 school year. The bill was passed in the Oklahoma House of Representatives and Oklahoma State Senate on the final day of the 2014 session. It required the state to return to its pre-2010 education standards and develop new standards by 2016 that will be subject to legislative review.[12]

School board composition

School board members are elected by residents of the school district. School boards have varying numbers of members, and those members can serve three-year, four-year, five-year or seven-year terms.[13]

School district types

Oklahoma has a number of different types of school districts, including:[14]

  • Independent school districts
  • Elementary school districts
  • Technology center school districts

All of these school district types are governed by elected school boards that have some degree of financing power over their school district.[14]

Term limits

Oklahoma does not impose statewide term limits on school boards.[15]

School board elections

Upcoming elections

See also: Oklahoma school board elections, 2015

A total of 13 Oklahoma school districts among America's largest school districts by enrollment held elections for 14 seats in 2015. None of the districts held primary elections, and all of the general elections were held February 10, 2015.

Here are several quick facts about Oklahoma's school board elections in 2015:

  • The largest school district by enrollment with an election in 2015 was Oklahoma City Public Schools with 43,212 K-12 students.
  • The smallest school district by enrollment with an election in 2015 was Mustang Public Schools with 9,213 K-12 students.
  • Union Public Schools had the most seats up for election in 2015 with two seats on the ballot.
  • The other 12 districts had just one seat up for election in 2015.
School Board Election Trends Banner.jpg Spotlight Districts Banner.jpg

The districts listed below served 254,915 K-12 students during the 2010-2011 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.[16] Click on the district names for more information on the district and its school board elections.

2015 Oklahoma School Board Elections
District Date Seats up for election Total board seats Student enrollment
Broken Arrow Public Schools 2/10/2015 1 5 16,985
Edmond Public Schools 2/10/2015 1 5 21,985
Jenks Public Schools 2/10/2015 1 5 10,686
Lawton Public Schools 2/10/2015 1 5 15,875
Midwest City-Del City Schools 2/10/2015 1 5 14,527
Moore Public Schools 2/10/2015 1 5 22,672
Mustang Public Schools 2/10/2015 1 5 9,213
Norman Public Schools 2/10/2015 1 5 15,022
Oklahoma City Public Schools 2/10/2015 1 7 43,212
Owasso Public Schools 2/10/2015 1 5 9,336
Putnam City Schools 2/10/2015 1 5 19,213
Tulsa Public Schools 2/10/2015 1 7 41,199
Union Public Schools 2/10/2015 2 5 14,990

Path to the ballot

In order to qualify as a candidate, an individual must:[13]

  • Be a resident and registered voter in the school district the candidate seeks to represent for at least six months before the filing period for the election begins.
  • Not have been convicted of a felony by federal or state law or have been convicted of a misdemeanor involving embezzlement.
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent certificate.
  • If an incumbent, have taken the required number of continuing education credits.
  • Not be related by second degree or more by blood or marriage to an employee of the school district or current member of the school board.

To get on the ballot, school board candidates must file election documents with their county elections department during the filing period.[17]

Campaign finance

School board candidates that intend to receive or spend $500 or more during their campaign are required to file campaign finance reports for all contributions and expenditures. These reports must be filed with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission. Before filing these reports, candidates must file forms to designate a campaign agent and a register a committee.[18]

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
  2. ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
  3. United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
  4. United States Department of Education, "2012 EDFacts State Profile," accessed August 13, 2013
  5. Oklahoma State Department of Education, "State Board of Education," accessed August 12, 2013
  6. Oklahoma State Department of Education, "10 Largest Public School Districts," accessed July 10, 2014
  7. Homesurfer, "School District Ranking Report," accessed July 10, 2014
  8. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 Politico, "Mary Fallin signs bill repealing the Common Core," June 5, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 Fox News, "Oklahoma repeals Common Core education standards," June 5, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 News 9, "Growing Concerns Over Curriculum For Oklahoma Schools," June 26, 2014
  12. Fox News, "Oklahoma repeals Common Core education standards," June 5, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 Oklahoma Department of Education, "Local School Boards of Education," accessed July 10, 2014
  14. 14.0 14.1 United States Census Bureau, "Oklahoma," accessed July 10, 2014
  15. National School Boards Association, "Survey of the State School Boards Associations on Term Limits for Local Board Members," accessed July 10, 2014
  16. National Center for Education Statistics, "Elementary/Secondary Information System," accessed March 21, 2014
  17. Muskogee Phoenix, "School board elections filing set," November 19, 2012 (dead link)
  18. Oklahoma Ethics Commission, "Forms for Local Campaign Reporting," accessed July 10, 2014