POE produces a documentary on consolidation
In an effort to put a face to this debate over school consolidation, the Professional Oklahoma Educators Foundation has filmed and produced an exclusive documentary about rural schools and school consolidation that premiered January 21 in Norman.
We Are Rural tells the story of six rural Oklahoma schools in their fight to stay autonomous while they face a greater push for consolidation each year. Key legislators also weigh in on the issue while viewers decide the answer to one very important question: Should small, rural schools be consolidated?
One point-of-view argues that these small, rural schools are doing a good job of educating students and, therefore, consolidation decisions should only be made at the local level.
“A one-size-fits-all program brought out of Oklahoma City may not work well for an Altus or a Woodward,” said Rep. Joe Dorman, D-Rush Springs.
On the other hand, some believe that Oklahoma’s over 500 school districts are more than is needed. One proposed solution would be to consolidate administrative functions, leaving school sites open while merging them into larger districts with only one superintendent.
“I just want the superintendent to be one guy who’s over a hundred buildings,” said Rep. David Derby, R-Owasso.
The Professional Oklahoma Educators Foundation, a non-profit organization, serves as a support organization for Professional Oklahoma Educators and provides educational training and services to teachers and students across the state.
Professional Oklahoma Educators is a nonunion, nonpartisan professional association for all school personnel. Members receive professional liability insurance, legal services, lobbying representation, professional development and more.
For more information, go to ProfessionalOklahomaEducators.org.