Letter to the editor: New ideas for public education now

Oklahoma currently has 517 schools districts, down from 544. Of the 517 districts, 131 of the districts have fewer than 250 students. Each of these districts requires a school superintendent.

It seems to me to reduce cost and shift money to teacher salaries, converting to a county school administrative system should at least be looked at.

Arkansas has 257 school districts, Kansas 293 and Louisiana 132.  These states also have county administrative systems.

Other than Oklahoma, Cleveland, Comanche and Tulsa counties – which are heavily populated and have large school districts – most other Oklahoma counties are rural.

Assuming the average salary for a small school superintendent is $80,000, the total salaries paid are a whopping $10,480,000 (131 times $80,000).

Surely $10 million dollars could be reallocated to pay  county superintendents and with the balance used to fund improved teacher salaries?

The Oklahoma Public School system is sorely in need of a change in financial operations. Adding a 1-cent sales tax does nothing to enhance efficient use of per pupil revenue.

It’s time for the Legislature and public school patrons to start thinking “outside the box” concerning public school funding.