Public school districts will be encouraged in the upcoming months to consolidate or share administrative services in order to free up more money for the classroom, Gov. Mary Fallin said Friday. Oklahoma has 522 school districts, and that’s too many, Fallin told newspaper publishers and editors attending the Oklahoma Press Association’s annual convention.
“It is time to have a debate about the structure of our school systems,” Fallin said. “I can’t tell you what that debate will look like, but certainly to look at the funding, the sources, the needs, the growth. We have some school communities that are growing in population ... and we have other school districts that are losing population.”
Fallin said she isn’t talking about forcing consolidation efforts.
“I support those who voluntarily want to share services, those who want to join school districts, and we’ve seen some of that over the past several years where districts have come together — some where it just makes sense.”