Public education in Oklahoma
Energy • Environment • Fracking • Public education • Higher education • School choice • Charter schools • Public pensions • State budget and finances • Taxes • Voting • Ballot access • Redistricting
- 1 State agencies
- 2 Regional comparison
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Academic performance
- 5 Educational choice options
- 6 Education funding and expenditures
- 7 Organizations
- 8 Taxpayer-funded lobbying
- 9 Education ballot measures
- 10 Studies and reports
- 11 Recent news
- 12 See also
- 13 External links
- 14 References
Oklahoma school districts
List of school districts in Oklahoma
Public education in Oklahoma
School board elections portal
|“||Our mission at the Oklahoma State Department of Education, is to improve student success through: service to schools, parents and students; leadership for education reform; and regulation/deregulation of state and federal laws to provide accountability while removing any barriers to student success.||”|
The Superintendent of Public Instruction is the chief administrative official in the Department of Education. The Superintendent of Public Instruction is elected to four-year terms. The current officeholder is Janet Barresi.
The State Board of Education oversees the state's public school system. The board is composed of seven members: the Superintendent of Public Instruction and six members appointed by the governor "with the advice and consent of the senate." Board members serve four-year terms.
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.
- See also: General comparison table for education statistics in the 50 states
- See also: Education spending per pupil in all 50 states
The following chart shows how Oklahoma compares to three neighboring states with respect to number of students, schools, the number of teachers per pupil, and the number of administrators per pupil. Further comparisons between these states with respect to performance and financial information are given in other sections of this page.
|State||Schools||Districts||Students||Teachers||Teacher/pupil ratio||Administrator/pupil ratio||Per pupil spending|
| Sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey", 2011-12 v.1a.|
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
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.
|Demographic information for Oklahoma's K-12 public school system|
|Ethnicity||Students||State Percentage||United States Percentage**|
|Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. students||1,833||0.28%||0.42%|
|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.|
Enrollments by region type
A plurality of students in Oklahoma attend rural schools. Approximately 59 percent of the state's students attend rural or town schools, compared to approximately 41 percent who attend city or suburban schools.
|Student distribution by region type, 2011 - 2012 (as percents)|
|State||City schools||Suburban schools||Town schools||Rural schools|
|Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD)|
- See also: NAEP scores by state
The National Center for Education Statistics provides state-by-state data on student achievement levels in mathematics and reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Compared to three neighboring states (Arkansas, Kansas, and Missouri), Oklahoma has the smallest share of fourth and eighth grade students who scored at or above proficient in both math and reading.
|Percent of students scoring at or above proficient, 2012-2013|
|Math - Grade 4||Math - Grade 8||Reading - Grade 4||Reading - Grade 8|
|Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014|
|NAEP assessment data for all students 2012-2013|
Graduation, ACT and SAT scores
|Comparison table for graduation rates and test scores*|
|State||Graduation rate, 2012||Average ACT Composite, 2012||Average SAT Composite, 2013|
|Percent||Quintile ranking**||Score||Participation rate||Score||Participation rate|
| *Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Rate (except for Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma, which did not report “Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate,” but instead used their own method of calculation).|
**Graduation rates for states in the first quintile ranked in the top 20 percent nationally. Similarly, graduation rates for states in the fifth quintile ranked in the bottom 20 percent nationally.
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express
- See also: Public high school dropout rates by state for a full comparison of dropout rates by group in all states
The high school event dropout rate indicates the proportion of students who were enrolled at some time during the school year and were expected to be enrolled in grades 9–12 in the following school year but were not enrolled by October 1 of the following school year. Students who have graduated, transferred to another school, died, moved to another country, or who are out of school due to illness are not considered dropouts. The average public high school event dropout rate for the United States remained constant at 3.3 percent for both SY 2010–11 and SY 2011–12. The event dropout rate for Oklahoma was lower than the national average at 2.5 percent in the 2010-2011 school year, and 2.5 percent in the 2011-2012 school year.
Educational choice options
- See also: School choice in Oklahoma
School choice options in Oklahoma include: charter schools, school vouchers, inter-district and intra-district open enrollment policies and online learning programs. In addition, about 4.79 percent of school age children in the state attended private schools in the 2011-12 academic year, and an estimated 2.67 percent were homeschooled in 2012-13.
Education funding and expenditures
- See also: Oklahoma state budget and finances
According to the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the state spent approximately 16.5 percent of its fiscal year 2012 budget on elementary and secondary education. As a share of the budget, this is up 0.50 percentage points, or 3.1 percent, from fiscal year 2008, when the state spent 16.0 percent of its budget on elementary and secondary education.
|Comparison of financial figures for school systems|
|State||Percent of budget (2012)||Per pupil spending (2011)||Revenue sources (2011)|
|Percent federal funds||Percent state funds||Percent local funds|
| Sources: NASBO, "State Expenditure Report," Table 8: Elementary and Secondary Education Expenditures As a Percent of Total Expenditures |
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system revenues in Oklahoma totaled approximately $5.8 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including revenue sources, for Oklahoma and surrounding states.
|Revenues by source, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)|
|Federal revenue||State revenue||Local revenue||Total revenue|
|Source: National Center for Education Statistics|
|Public school revenues by source, FY 2011 (as percents)|
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system expenditures in Oklahoma totaled approximately $5.6 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including expenditure types, for Oklahoma and surrounding states.
|Expenditures by type, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)|
|Current expenditures**||Capital outlay||Other***||Total expenditures|
| **Funds spent operating local public schools and local education agencies, including such expenses as salaries for school personnel, student transportation, school books and materials, and energy costs, but excluding capital outlay, interest on school debt, payments to private schools, and payments to public charter schools.|
***Includes payments to state and local governments, payments to private schools, interest on school system indebtedness, and nonelementary-secondary expenditures, such as adult education and community services expenditures.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
|Public school expenditures, FY 2011 (as percents)|
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average national salary for classroom teachers in public elementary and secondary schools has declined by 1.3 percent from the 1999-2000 school year to the 2012-2013 school year. During the same period in Oklahoma, the average salary increased by 3.2 percent.
|Estimated average salaries for teachers (in constant dollars**)|
|**"Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis. The CPI does not account for differences in inflation rates from state to state."|
In 2012 the Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now assessed the power and influence of state teacher unions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their rankings were based on 37 different variables in five broad areas, including: resources and membership, involvement in politics, scope of bargaining, state policies and perceived influence. Oklahoma ranked 43rd overall, or "weakest," which was in the fifth of five tiers.
The main unions related to the Oklahoma school system are the Oklahoma Education Association (OEA), a part of the larger National Education Association, and AFT Oklahoma. For the 2003 tax period OEA had: $5.21 billion in total assets, $6.66 billion in total income and $6.59 billion in expenses.
List of local Oklahoma school unions:
- Oklahoma Education Association
- AFT Oklahoma
- American Federation Of Teachers (Oklahoma City)
- Putnam City Association Of Classroom Teachers
- Education Support Personnel Of Oklahoma
- Edmond Association Of Classroom Teachers
- See also: Oklahoma government sector lobbying
The main education government sector lobbying organization is the Oklahoma State School Boards Association.
Education ballot measures
Ballotpedia has tracked 72 statewide ballot measures relating to education.
- Oklahoma Ad Valorem Tax for Common Schools, State Question 109 (1920)
- Oklahoma Ad Valorem Tax for Schools, State Question 314 (1946)
- Oklahoma Ad Valorem Tax for Schools, State Question 316 (1946)
- Oklahoma Ad Valorem Taxes for Public Schools, State Question 368 (April 1955)
- Oklahoma Ad Valorem Taxes for Schools, State Question 546 (1980)
- Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College Board of Regents, State Question 310 (July 1944)
- Oklahoma Board of Education and Text Books for Schools, State Question 172 (December 1931)
- Oklahoma Board of Regents for Oklahoma Colleges, State Question 328 (July 1948)
- Oklahoma Board of Regents for the Agricultural and Mechanical College, State Question 210 (1936)
- Oklahoma Capital Improvements for Higher Education, State Question 393 (July 1960)
- Oklahoma College for Women, State Question 371 (July 1956)
- Oklahoma Common School Funds, State Question 370 (July 1956)
- Oklahoma Compulsory School Attendance, State Question 636 (June 1990)
- Oklahoma Contracts for College and University Presidents, State Question 686 (2000)
- Oklahoma County Superintendents, State Question 424 (1964)
- Oklahoma Distribution of Funds to Schools, State Question 635 (June 1990)
- Oklahoma Education Lottery Trust Fund, State Question 706 (2004)
- Oklahoma Education Reform, State Question 639 (October 1991)
- Oklahoma Initiative 17
- Oklahoma Initiative 18
- Oklahoma Initiative 19
- Oklahoma Initiative 20
- Oklahoma Initiative 5
- Oklahoma Institutions for the Deaf and Mute, State Question 521 (April 1976)
- Oklahoma Integrated Schools, State Question 428 (May 1966)
- Oklahoma Investment of School Funds, State Question 442 (August 1968)
- Oklahoma Investment of School Funds, State Question 599 (August 1986)
- Oklahoma Levy for Public Schools, State Question 145 (1926)
- Oklahoma Levy for School Districts, State Question 421 (1964)
- Oklahoma Local Support Levy for School Districts, State Question 430 (September 1965)
- Oklahoma Lottery Commission, State Question 705 (2004)
- Oklahoma Military Academy, State Question 346 (1950)
- Oklahoma Military Academy at Claremore, State Question 372 (July 1956)
- Oklahoma Private Ownership of Government-Funded Research, State Question 681 (1998)
- Oklahoma Procedures for Ad Valorem Taxes, State Question 690 (2000)
- Oklahoma Property Tax Levies, State Question 634 (June 1990)
- Oklahoma Property Tax for Schools, State Question 434 (May 1966)
- Oklahoma Public School System, State Question 526 (1978)
- Oklahoma Public School Textbooks, State Question 137 (1926)
- Oklahoma School District Indebtedness, State Question 548 (1980)
- Oklahoma School District Indebtedness, State Question 572 (1984)
- Oklahoma School Districts, State Question 423 (1964)
- Oklahoma School Equalization Fund, State Question 578 (August 1984)
- Oklahoma School Funds Investment, State Question 490 (August 1972)
- Oklahoma School Lands, State Question 684 (2000)
- Oklahoma School Superintendent Contracts, State Question 671 (1996)
- Oklahoma School and Educational Funds, State Question 481 (December 1971)
- Oklahoma Segregation in Schools, State Question 475 (September 1970)
- Oklahoma State Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges Board of Regents, State Question 158 (1930)
- Oklahoma State Aid to School Districts, State Question 422 (1964)
- Oklahoma State Board of Education, State Question 633 (June 1990)
- Oklahoma State Funds for Common Schools, State Question 744 (2010)
- Oklahoma State Question 421 (1964)
- Oklahoma State Question 422 (1964)
- Oklahoma State Question 423 (1964)
- Oklahoma State System for Higher Education, State Question 300 (March 1941)
- Oklahoma Support to Common Schools, State Question 315 (1946)
- Oklahoma Tax Levy for School Districts, State Question 487 (1972)
- Oklahoma Tax Levy for Schools, State Question 319 (July 1946)
- Oklahoma Tax Levy for Schools, State Question 327 (July 1948)
- Oklahoma Tax for Common Schools, State Question 99 (1920)
- Oklahoma Taxes for Common School, State Question 59 (August 1914)
- Oklahoma Taxes for Common Schools, State Question 45 (1912)
- Oklahoma Taxes for Common Schools, State Question 57 (August 1913)
- Oklahoma Taxes for Common Schools, State Question 83 (August 1916)
- Oklahoma Taxes for School Purposes, State Question 168 (July 1932)
- Oklahoma Textbooks for Common Schools, State Question 318 (1946)
- Oklahoma University of Oklahoma Board of Regents, State Question 159 (1930)
- Oklahoma University of Oklahoma Board of Regents, State Question 311 (July 1944)
- Oklahoma Use of Educational Funds, State Question 665 (1994)
- Oklahoma Use of Public Resources for Private Gain, State Question 680 (1998)
- Oklahoma Use of School Building Funds, State Question 704 (2002)
Studies and reports
Quality Counts 2014
- See also: Quality Counts 2014 Report
Education Week, a publication that reports on many education issues throughout the country, began using an evaluation system in 1997 to grade each state on various elements of education performance. This system, called Quality Counts, uses official data on performance from each state to generate a report card for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The report card in 2014 uses six different categories:
- Chance for success
- K-12 achievement
- Standards, assessments and accountability
- The teaching profession
- School finance
- Transitions and Alignment
Each of these six categories had a number of other elements that received individual scores. Those scores were then averaged and used to determine the final score in each category. Every state received two types of scores for each of the six major categories: A numerical score out of 100 and a letter grade based on that score. Education Week used the score for the first category, "chance for success," as the value for ranking each state and the District of Columbia. The average grade received in the entire country was 77.3, or a C+ average. The country's highest average score was in the category of "standards, assessments and accountability" at 85.3, or a B average. The lowest average score was in "K-12 achievement", at 70.2, or a C- average.
Oklahoma received a score of 72.2, or a C- average in the "chance for success" category. This was below the national average. The state's highest score was in "standards, assessments and accountability" at 93.3, or an A average. The lowest score was in "K-12 achievement" at 64.2, or a D average. Oklahoma had the lowest score in K-12 achievement when compared to neighboring states. The chart below displays the scores of Oklahoma and its surrounding states.
Note: Click on a column heading to sort the data.
|Public education report cards, 2014|
|State||Chance for success||K-12 achievement||Standards, assessments and accountability||The teaching profession||School finance||Transitions and Alignment|
|Oklahoma||72.2 (C-)||64.2 (D)||93.3 (A)||71.6 (C-)||66.5 (D)||89.3 (B+)|
|Arkansas||71.8 (C-)||66.7 (D+)||94.4 (A)||88.0 (B+)||74.1 (C)||96.4 (A)|
|Kansas||81.9 (B-)||68.4 (D+)||81.2 (B-)||67.4 (D+)||74.2 (C)||75.0 (C)|
|Missouri||77.3 (C+)||66.0 (D)||78.9 (C+)||69.3 (D+)||70.5 (C-)||75.0 (C)|
|United States Average||77.3 (C+)||70.2 (C-)||85.3 (B)||72.5 (C)||75.5 (C)||81.1 (B-)|
| Source: Education Week, "Quality Counts 2014 report cards," accessed February 18, 2015|
A full discussion of how these numbers were generated can be found here.
Oklahomans for Responsible Government report
In 2009, Oklahomans for Responsible Government (OFRG), a nonprofit founded in January 2008, released a report about the overall transparency of Oklahoma's school districts. According to the report, 79 of the state’s 531 districts (15 percent) lacked an official website. Additionally, of the 471 districts with technology directors, 59 had no website. The organization maintained that it was not calling for states to establish mandates for the creation of school websites, but rather was reminding schools that according to state law they are required to post public meeting agendas. "Schools, like other public agencies, should always be on the lookout for ways to better inform taxpayers," said Brian Downs, OFRG executive director.
State Budget Solutions education study
State Budget Solutions examined national trends in education from 2009 to 2011, including state-by-state analysis of education spending, graduation rates and average ACT scores. The study showed that the states that spent the most did not have the highest average ACT test scores, nor did they have the highest average graduation rates. A summary of the study is available here. The full report can be accessed here.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Oklahoma + Education "
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Oklahoma state budget and finances
- Oklahoma Department of Education
- School choice in Oklahoma
- Charter schools in Oklahoma
- Oklahoma school districts
- Education Policy in the U.S.
- 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
- 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."
- United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD); Table 2.—Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011-12," accessed May 12, 2014
- United States Department of Education, "ED Data Express," accessed May 12, 2014
- Oklahoma State Department of Education, "SDE Mission and Title IX Policy," accessed June 3, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Oklahoma State Department of Education, "Janet Barresi," accessed June 3, 2014
- Oklahoma Statutes, "Title 70, Chapter 1, Article 3, Section 3-101," accessed June 3, 2014
- Fox News, "Oklahoma repeals Common Core education standards," June 5, 2014
- 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
- United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
- ACT, "2012 ACT National and State Scores," accessed May 13, 2014
- Commonwealth Foundation, "SAT Scores by State 2013," October 10, 2013
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Dropout and Graduation Rate Data File, School Year 2010-11, Provision Version 1a and School Year 2011-12, Preliminary Version 1a," accessed May 13, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2011-2013," accessed February 21, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009-2011," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditures Report, 2010-2012," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2008," accessed February 24, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2010–11," accessed May 13, 2014
- Maciver Institute, "REPORT: How much are teachers really paid?," accessed October 29, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 211.60. Estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, 1969-70 through 2012-13," accessed May 13, 2014
- Thomas E Fordham Institute, " How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison," October 29, 2012
- Center for Union Facts, "Oklahoma Education Association," accessed August 28, 2009
- Center for Union Facts, "Oklahoma teachers unions," accessed August 28, 2009
- Education Week "Quality Counts 2014 report cards," accessed February 19, 2015
- Associated Press, "Study by nonprofit group examines information available on Oklahoma school district Web sites," August 25, 2009 (dead link)
- The Oklahoman, "Point and click: Schools can do better job with sites," August 24, 2009
State of Oklahoma
Oklahoma City (capital)
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | State Auditor and Inspector | Superintendent of Public Instruction | Commissioner of Insurance | Commissioner of Agriculture | Director of Wildlife Conservation | Commissioner of Labor | Commissioner of Corporations |