Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction

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The Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction is an elected executive position in the Oklahoma state government. The superintendent is the chief education officer of the state, and is responsible for giving advice and making recommendations to the State Board of Education regarding the public school system and the State Department of Education.

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Janet Barresi. She was first elected in 2010 and assumed office on January 10, 2011.


The office of the Oklahoma superintendent is established in Section 1, Article 6 of the Oklahoma Constitution.

Article VI, Section 1:

A. The Executive authority of the state shall be vested in a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Auditor and Inspector, Attorney General, State Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Commissioner of Labor, Commissioner of Insurance and other officers provided by law and this Constitution, each of whom shall keep his office and public records, books and papers at the seat of government, and shall perform such duties as may be designated in this Constitution or prescribed by law.

B. The Secretary of State shall be appointed by the Governor by and with the consent of the Senate for a term of four (4) years to run concurrently with the term of the Governor.


Article VI, Section 3 of the Oklahoma Constitution establishes the qualifications of the office:

No person shall be eligible to the office of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Auditor and Inspector, Attorney General, State Treasurer or Superintendent of Public Instruction except a citizen of the United States of the age of not less than thirty-one (31) years and who shall have been ten (10) years next preceding his or her election, or appointment, a qualified elector of this state.
  • a citizen of the United States.
  • at least 31 years old.
  • a qualified elector of Oklahoma for the 10 preceding years.


The Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction is elected every years, in mid-term elections. The position is elected in 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018.

On March 14, 2011, the Oklahoma State Senate approved a bill that would give the governor the power to appoint 7 of the 11 statewide elected officials, including the superintendent. The Senate would have to confirm all appointments. Voters will decide whether to approve the measure.[1]

Term limits

No person may serve as the Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction for more than 8 years, excluding years served for less than a full term to fill a vacancy in the office.[2]


Under Article 6, Section 13 of the state constitution, in the event of a vacancy in the office the governor appoints a person to serve until a successor is either elected or appointed and qualified by law.


Under Oklahoma statutes, the superintendent of public instruction "is responsible for giving advice and making recommendations to the State Board of Education on all matters pertaining to the policies and administration of the State Department of Education and the public school system."[3] These duties include, but are not limited to:

  • the general administration, coordination, supervision, promotion, evaluation, and improvement of educational programs
  • interpreting and implementing the policies of the State Board of Education
  • coordinating all divisions and supervising employees
  • administering oaths and performing other duties pertinent to the public school system
  • advising district superintendents of schools on questions as to the powers, duties, and functions of the school district officials[3]

The superintendent also has a number of non-statutory duties:

  • advising and counseling legislators, patrons, and local school board members regarding educational matters
  • speaking at workshops, community events, and commencements in all parts of the state
  • attending local, state, and national educational meetings and conferences representing the state as its chief state school officer
  • conferring with representatives of the U.S. Department of Education[3]

The superintendent serves on the following boards and commissions:

  • State Board of Education, President
  • State Board of Career and Technology Education, Chair
  • Board of Regents for Oklahoma Colleges, Member
  • State Textbook Committee, Secretary
  • Teachers' Retirement System, Board of Trustees
  • Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, Board Member
  • Oklahoma Board of Private Vocational Schools, Member
  • State Board of Equalization, Member
  • Commissioners of the Land Office, Member


  • Administrative Services
  • Accreditation/Standards Services
  • Federal Fiscal Services
  • Financial Services
  • Teacher Certification
  • School Improvement Services
  • Office of Standards and Curriculum
  • Office of Innovation, Support, and Alternative Education
  • Office of Accountability and Assessments
  • Special Education Services


In 2010, the Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction was paid an estimated $124,373 according to the Council of State Governments.[4]

Contact information

State Department of Education
2500 North Lincoln Boulevard
Oklahoma City, OK 73105-4599

Phone: (405) 521-3301
Fax: (405) 521-6205
E-mail: Superintendent Barresi

See also

External links

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