There’s no shortage of information and data about public education in Oklahoma. Please use the information on this page as a resource for important conversations about public education. If you’d like to see additional data added to this page, please contact Christy Watson.

Most of the data is from the National Center for Education Statistics or the state Education Department unless otherwise noted.


Oklahoma’s public schools are serving nearly 75,000 more students than they did 20 years ago.


school enrollment



As Oklahoma’s student population has grown, so have the needs of students and the necessity of schools to adapt to meet these needs.

National Center for Education Statistics: 1992 to 2019.
*English language learner statistics were not available until 1998.


Oklahoma’s neighboring states invest substantially more in common education on a per-student basis. Even when adjusted for recent investments, Oklahoma remains last in the region on per-student spending.  


Are Oklahoma’s schools top heavy? That’s not what data shows. Oklahoma administrators are responsible for more students than most of their peers in other states. In fact, schools have adjusted staffing to meet new mandates and the growing needs of students. School Staffing

All Administration

By the Numbers
Student-to-Administrator Ratio


  • Oklahoma ranks 44th nationally on per-student administration spending.
  • Oklahoma has the highest student-to-administrator ratio in the region.
  • Oklahoma’s student-to-administrator ratio is 42nd nationally. 
  • Oklahoma could hire 300 more administrators and still not reach the national average.
  • All administration includes superintendents, assistant superintendents, principals and assistant principals.

District Administration

By the Numbers
Student-to-Administrator Ratio


  • Oklahoma’s district student-to-administrator ratio is 43rd the nation and 40 percent higher than the national average.
  • Oklahoma has the highest district student-to-administrator ratio in the region.
  • Since 1992, the number of district-level administrators has fallen 15 percent.
  • District administration includes superintendents and assistant superintendents.

School Administration

By the Numbers
Student-to-Administrator Ratio


  • The school-level student-to-administrator ratio is higher than the regional and national averages.
  • Since 1992, Oklahoma has experienced growth in the number of principals and assistant principals.
  • Oklahoma’s per-student spending on school-level administrators is lower than the regional and national averages.
  • School administration includes principals and assistant principals.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics


Many school districts are cooperating to offer expanded services for students and obtain efficiencies.
  • More than 130 districts use shared treasurer services and/or obtain these services via a local financial institution.
  • 375 districts cooperate to offer student services in areas including special education, English language learners, alternative education, professional development and counseling.
  • Fourteen school districts are using shared superintendents.
  • More than 100 superintendents have additional job duties.


Teacher Shortage & Teacher Pay Facts

  • The average Oklahoma teacher will earn an estimated $55,541 in pay and benefits this school year, according to the National Education Association’s annual Rankings and Estimates report published in April 2023. 
  • That’s a 23% increase over six years ago when average teacher compensation was $45,292. 
  • While the legislature approved an average pay raise of $7,300 during the 2018 and 2019 sessions, the $10,250 increase over the last seven years means districts also directed other resources into teacher pay.
  • Surrounding states are also increasing public education investment, causing Oklahoma’s teacher compensation to fall below the $58,060 average of surrounding states.
  • There’s a clear gap after the top three states: New Mexico, Colorado and Texas. Oklahoma would need to raise compensation more nearly $5,200 to reach the Texas average. 
  • This school year, state education officials approved 4,556 emergency teaching certificates. That’s a record number and almost 700 more than last school year.
  • OSSBA’s 2022 teacher staffing survey found schools started the year with 1,019 teacher vacancies — the highest number in the eight-year history of the survey.
Sources: OSSBA, State Department of Education


We urge legislators to work with parents and education leaders at all levels for real solutions to support the 700,000 students in their public schools.