OKLAHOMA
EDUCATION
FACTS

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.

ENROLLMENT

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

 

school enrollment

 

GROWTH IN STUDENT NEEDS

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

National Center for Education Statistics, 1992-2014 *ELL data available since 1998


INVESTMENT

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.  

ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS

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

237:1

  • 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

1,289:1

  • 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

301:1

  • 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

SHARED SERVICES

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

Teacher Shortage & Teacher Pay Facts

  • The average Oklahoma teacher will earn an estimated $54,804 in pay and benefits this school year, according to the National Education Association’s annual Rankings and Estimates report published in April 2022. 
  • That’s a 21% 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 2017 and 2018 sessions, the $9,500 increase over the last six 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 slightly below the $55,235 average of surrounding states.
  • Kansas and Oklahoma rank third and fourth, respectively, in the region. Both states would need to raise salaries $3,500 to $4,000 to reach the top two states: Texas and Colorado.
  • This school year, state education officials approved 3,833 emergency teaching certificates. That’s a record over the 3,321 awarded in 2019-2020.
Sources: OSSBA, State Department of Education

PRIVATE SCHOOL VOUCHERS

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.