Many have argued that Oklahoma has too many school districts and administrative costs are keeping funds from reaching the classroom. Prior polling of likely voters found that a simple majority believed it as well.
But now, in a survey of Oklahoma teachers, or those who know most about funding reaching the classroom, a similar result is found with 45 percent agreeing that there are too many school districts in the state.
Nearly one-in-four didn’t know, and one-in-three disagreed.
|1. Strongly agree||22.9|
|2. Somewhat agree||22.1|
|3. Don’t know/refused [DNR]||22.5|
|4. Somewhat disagree||15.1|
|5. Strongly disagree||17.5|
Among inner-city, suburban, and rural teachers, the greatest divide occurs on this issue. With teachers in the inner-cities and suburbs, 53.6 and 52.6 percent believe there are too many school districts, whereas only 35.7 percent of rural teachers. While that’s nearly a 20 point divide, it is still worth noting that more than one-in-three rural teachers believes there’s too many districts.
Slightly more than half, 50.7 percent, of Republican teachers, who make up slightly more than half of all teachers, say there are too many districts. Among Independents, 46.5 percent agree, and 38.7 percent of teachers registered as Democrat.
Interestingly, the longer the time working as a teacher in the state, the more likely the poll respondents were to believe the state had too many districts and be less undecided on the issue. Among those working 20 years or more, 49.4 percent agreed while only 20 percent were undecided, whereas those having worked as a teacher for less than two years, only 28.5 percent agreed and 42.9 percent didn’t know.
Oklahoma is in the top ten of states with the highest number of schools districts, but ranked first in the number of school districts per enrollment of secondary and elementary students.
About the Poll
SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, conducted the online poll of 458 Oklahoma teachers. The poll was commissioned by the Oklahoman.
The scientific study was conducted online September 29 – October 10, 2016 and respondents were selected at random among those with a teaching certificate in the state of Oklahoma. Teachers were identified by filtering out only teachers who were currently employed, retired, or looking for a teaching position in the state. The data was also filtered for those registered to vote and likely to vote in the November election.
The study has a Margin of Error (MoE) of ± 4.56 percent.