Quality education is critical to ensuring the future of a community. No one understands that better than rural Oklahomans. In many small towns throughout Oklahoma, the local school is the heart of the community.
Oklahoma Farm Bureau members are passionate about ensuring quality and successful education in rural areas. As farm and ranch families who have been in agriculture for generations, passing down the farm to the next generation is vital. But maintaining quality education systems in rural areas is critical to ensuring the next generation returns to rural Oklahoma.
OKFB members for years have believed in local control of schools. Because it best understands the needs of its students and is most invested in the success of its students and schools, the local community is most capable of making decisions about the school’s academics, leadership and operation.
“We have long favored maximum local control and administration of schools.”OKFB Policy Book
OKFB members believe all Oklahoma students should have equal access to educational opportunities, whether they live in downtown Tulsa or rural Frederick. By utilizing new technology, schools with small numbers of students can provide the same academic options as the state’s largest schools.
“It is important that students from rural areas be given the same opportunities and access to education in STEM classes as their urban counterparts.”OKFB Policy Book
Small schools are the cornerstone of rural communities across Oklahoma. In many cases, the loss of the school could mark the end of the town. OKFB members believe any consolidation of schools should be voluntary and decided by local communities, not the state.
“If reasons for consolidation exist, it should be done on a school-by-school basis, not a mandatory statewide program…We are opposed to the elimination of rural schools according to average daily attendance and any consolidation should be with mutual agreement of the school districts which are being consolidated.”OKFB Policy Book