Oklahoma has more than 500 school districts, far more than most states our size. But consolidation is an emotional issue; change never comes easily. Too often, that means students are effectively robbed of educational opportunities in the name of local civic pride.
So it’s encouraging that citizens in two districts voted this week to improve student services by consolidating the Dustin and Graham districts. The plan doesn’t require either community to close its school. Instead, the Dustin site will house prekindergarten through fourth-grade students, and the Graham school will be home to fifth- through 12th-graders.
One of the major resulting changes is that each school will now have just one grade per classroom and per teacher, instead of two, and students will have more electives.
By looking ahead instead of clinging to nostalgia, voters in these districts have truly put students first.