In spite of legislators filing eight separate school consolidation bills this session, Oklahoma Senator John Ford, chair of the Senate Education Committee, believes consolidation will not save any money, KOSU reports.
Dr. Gary Ritter, an education policy analyst at the University of Arkansas, also believes that Oklahoma will not save money by consolidating, even though we have more than twice as many school districts as neighboring states, such as Arkansas and Louisiana. Ritter has been studying the effects of consolidation for more than 10 years.
Read the story below to learn why our legislators think we’ll save money through consolidation, and what the numbers actually tell us.
According to 2014 U.S. Census data both states spent about the same on superintendent administration. But Louisiana spent $100 million more on principals and school level administration. All told, Louisiana spends more on administration despite having a fraction of the number of districts. The same is true for other states like South Carolina and Alabama.