Sunday, November 29, 2015

Consolidating County School Districts Saves Millions Yearly

An updated article from January 2015. 

A Tale Of Two Counties: Carter & Tulsa

It is often somewhat hard to conceptualize the effect of restructuring Oklahoma's 531 public school districts. to that end, Sooner Politics' researchers  sampled two very stark contrasts in educational administration.
Owasso is a growing city in the far outreaches of Tulsa County. Their 11 schools are a part of one district with 9600 students and a very good superintendent who makes a very good salary. His teachers perform well in the classroom and state testing demonstrates  it through standardized testing.

  Carter County, on the other hand; has 9 school districts ranging from the 3000+ in Ardmore Public Schools, to districts as small as 200 students total. The 9300 students are spread throughout the county. Nine superintendents share the load and earn a combined $730K per year. The students score a very average result in standardized tests.

  This is just one comparison of Oklahoma's various schools. Other rural counties, like Choctaw & Pittsburgh Counties are even less efficient.

The Wrong Way To Consolidate

  Carter County doesn't need to move any rural students to the big city school district. Studies show that the cultural impact on students from this kind of forced busing is detrimental.  Instead, simply consolidate the outlying rural districts so that Carter County has 2 districts (East, Ardmore, & West).  The rural districts stay rural in their demographic, but large enough to efficiently provide the academic opportunities that their students are seeking.

Schools Stay Open

  Not one school needs to be closed by the state. Instead, the school districts will be able to make local decisions about each campus and make their own plans for the best educational outcomes.
David Van Risseghem

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