OKLAHOMA CITY (Dec. 12, 2017) – The number of students enrolled in Oklahoma public schools continued to rise in 2017, increasing by more than 1,000 from the previous year.
A total of 694,816 students were enrolled in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade at the start of the school year, an increase of 1,106 over the 2016 total of 693,710 and 21,626 more than in 2012.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister emphasized that the state should be prepared to continue serving a growing student population each year.
“Once again, Oklahoma schools are educating more students than ever before with few new resources,” Hofmeister said. “Funding has not kept pace with the steady rise in enrollment over the past decade, the growing diversity of Oklahoma’s student population or the decrease of trained educators entering the profession. We will continue to advocate for teacher pay raises and adequate funding levels to meet the needs of all Oklahoma schoolchildren.”
Districts record enrollment every year on Oct. 1 and report the figures to the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE). Currently, Oklahoma has 512 traditional public school districts, 1,795 total school sites, 28 charter school districts and 58 charter school sites.
The list of the 10 largest districts is identical to last year’s, although some changed position within the ranking. This year’s 10 largest districts are:
Oklahoma City Public Schools: 45,034 studentsTulsa Public Schools: 39,596Edmond Public Schools: 24,892Moore Public Schools: 24,687Putnam City Public Schools: 19,515Broken Arrow Public Schools: 19,081Norman Public Schools: 16,103Union Public Schools: 15,847Mid-Del Public Schools: 14,334Lawton Public Schools: 14,068
Among those districts, Edmond had the greatest year-to-year growth, increasing 2 percent over 2016, followed by Moore with an increase of 1.36 percent and Norman, which jumped 1.01 percent. Putnam City, Mid-Del and Broken Arrow grew less than 1 percent. Enrollment decreased 4.6 percent in Lawton, 2.13 percent in Tulsa, 1.58 percent in Oklahoma City and less than 1 percent in Union.
Statewide, student population percentages shifted slightly this year. Most significantly, the percentage of white students dipped below 50 percent for the second year in a row to 48.85 percent compared to 49.36 percent in 2016. The number of Native American students decreased again this year, while the percentage of Hispanic students and students of two or more ethnicities continued to increase. This school year, Oklahoma’s student population is*:
48.85 percent white17.23 percent Hispanic13.59 percent Native American or Alaskan Native9.33 percent two or more races8.61 percent black2.39 percent Asian, Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
*Numbers are rounded.