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Bill proposal to limit Oklahoma superintendent salaries

OKLAHOMA – The legislative session gets underway in February and, already, a number of plans are in the works to funnel more money into Oklahoma schools.

The latest bill proposal aims to cap top-dollar school superintendents.

Bi-partisan polling shows Oklahomans do want more state funding spent in the classroom.

“Overwhelmingly, most folks think our administration cost is too high,” said Republican Senator Jason Smalley.

Smalley will chair the education funding subcommittee this session.

His new proposal, Senate Bill 133, will limit superintendent salaries based on student population.

The bill proposal would put a few dozen school districts in a pinch, forcing them to bring down big super salaries.

“If we put a cap on this, then the state will only pay a specific amount,” Smalley said. “We know what our administration (costs) are. We can stop blaming administration. We can get down to the roots of it.”

The filing deadline for new bills is Thursday.

Dozens of bills are expected to address what some call an education funding crisis in Oklahoma.

Conservative think tank Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs is cautious about a plan that favors a state funding formula over the local school board vote on superintendent pay.

“I think everyone would agree we are spending too much money outside the classroom,” said OCPA President Jonathan Small.

School boards across the state have complete control in their district over how much the super makes and how much of a raise that top spot earns each year.

“I think it would be very difficult for the state to come up with some sort of matrix on what’s the right salary for an individual local district,” Small said.

CLICK: Oklahoma superintendent salaries