State lawmakers say consolidation plan could hurt rural schools

Friday, February 4th 2005, 6:12 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Rural House Democrats Thursday criticized a Republican plan they said could force small Oklahoma school districts to consolidate.

Altus state Representative David Braddock said the closure of local schools could cause a decline in western Oklahoma communities already suffering from population loss.

Republican House Speaker Todd Hiett of Kellyville, whose children attend rural schools, said he opposes the forced consolidation of school districts and lambasted Democrats for what he said were outlandish claims and grandstanding.

Two measures by Oklahoma City state Representative Odilia Dank propose consolidating administrative and other functions of some of Oklahoma's 540 school districts.

One measure, known as the Administrative Reorganization and Consolidation Act, sets up a commission to review school administrative costs and potential consolidation through July first, 2012.

The second measure establishes criteria under which school districts would be required to consolidate administrative functions.