2018 Oklahoma Statutes
Title 70. Schools
§70-7-105. Consolidation - Studies - Petition - Majority vote in entire territory – Plan of action – Conditional consolidation - Election - Initial board for new district - New district legal successor.
A. Two or more school districts may, whether adjacent or not adjacent, be consolidated into a single school district in accordance with standards, rules and procedures to be determined by the State Board of Education. When the consolidation of two or more school districts is proposed, the State Board of Education shall conduct such studies of the populations, wealth, terrain, trade areas and other factors as may be necessary to determine the location of boundaries and the size of a proposed district which will most nearly ensure an efficient and economical administrative unit. The State Board of Education shall furnish the boards of education of the school districts which might be involved information and advice as to where the boundaries and what the size of the proposed new district should be. Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent the inclusion within a school district of territory lying within the boundaries of two or more counties.
B. Ten percent (10%) of the qualified school electors in any district may petition the board of education of such district to request such information, or a board of education of such district may on its own initiative ask for information and advice from the State Board of Education on the educational advantages and disadvantages of proposed consolidation to the children and residents of the area which might be affected. Upon the receipt of such a petition, the local board of education shall request the services of the State Board of Education and shall notify the boards of education in adjacent school districts that such a request has been made. The State Board of Education may on its own initiative make the study herein authorized of any area of the state and direct the board of education of such school districts as might be involved to set into operation in their districts the procedure for determining what, if any, consolidation should be carried on in the area under study.
C. Any rules or procedures which the State Board of Education may prescribe for consolidation of school districts shall include the opportunity for the qualified school electors in the school districts involved to express their wishes through a majority vote of the school electors in the entire territory involved.
D. Prior to an election for consolidation, the boards of education of the school districts involved may develop a plan which shall set forth the actions to be taken during and after consolidation. The plan of action shall include agreements relating to school site closing, disposition and utilization of property and equipment and such other agreements as may be necessary to facilitate the consolidation of the school districts. The plan of action shall also include provisions related to the technology center school district the newly formed district will be a part of which are consistent with the State Board of Career and Technology Education rules. The plan shall be placed on a separate ballot and voted on by the qualified school electors of each district at the time of the consolidation election. Both the plan and consolidation questions must be approved by a majority vote for the plan to take effect. The plan shall be binding on the board of education of the newly formed district for at least three (3) years; provided, any provisions related to the expenditure of appropriated money shall not be binding beyond the current fiscal year. The newly formed district may alter or disregard the plan only if there is a significant change in circumstances, including a significant drop in revenue to the district or in student enrollment.
E. Two or more school districts may be consolidated into a single school district on a conditional basis. If the voters approve conditional consolidation of the school districts at an election for such purpose in accordance with the procedures set forth in this section, the newly formed school district shall be considered consolidated and shall go through the same procedure and meet the same requirements as any consolidated school district. Under a conditional consolidation plan, any subsequent decision to consolidate the new school district or annex all or part of the new school district, shall first be approved by a majority of the electors, voting at such election, of each of the original school districts. If one or more of the original school districts disapproves the subsequent consolidation or annexation plan, the plan shall not be approved. If all of the original school districts approve the subsequent consolidation or annexation plan, the plan shall be approved and thereafter, any further consolidation or annexation shall be subject to approval of the electors of all of the school districts as a whole. The original school district shall mean only the districts which independently voted to join the conditionally consolidated district.
F. An election for such purpose shall be held either upon:
1. A petition for consolidation or conditional consolidation, signed by forty percent (40%) of the school district electors of each school district included in the proposed consolidation, or conditional consolidation said percentage being applied to the highest number of voters voting in a regular school election in the district in the preceding five (5) years as determined by the secretary of the county election board, who shall certify the adequacy of the number of signatures on the petition; or
2. The concurrence of the boards of education of the school districts included in the proposed consolidation or conditional consolidation, as shown by a resolution adopted by each board.
The election shall be called by the State Board of Education and conducted in accordance with the general election laws of this state. Any vote to consolidate two or more districts, shall require a majority vote of those voting in each school district involved. When such a majority vote is in favor of consolidation or conditional consolidation, the State Board of Education shall declare the participating school districts dissolved and the new school district established, and the newly formed district shall thereupon be governed by the provisions of the Oklahoma School Code.
G. The State Superintendent of Public Instruction or designee shall convene the members of the boards of the districts forming the new district, who shall be given the opportunity of selecting from among themselves the initial board of education for the new district, selecting the number of members and designating the initial terms of service of each as required to conform to law; provided, the members convened shall have the option of forming a seven-member board pursuant to the provisions of Section 5-107A of this title rather than a board of the size otherwise provided by law and shall have the option of temporarily increasing the number of board positions for the new district by two positions per consolidating district for the first two (2) years following consolidation. The temporary positions will be filled by appointment by the board. The temporary board positions shall be abolished two (2) years from the effective date of consolidation. Within ten (10) days following the declaration of establishment of the new district, the State Superintendent or designee shall declare the agreement or shall declare that such agreement has not been reached, in which case persons serving as members of the board of education of the participating district having the largest number of enumerated children as shown by the last regular enumeration shall serve as members of the board of education of the newly formed district for the terms for which they were elected and until their successors have been duly elected or appointed and have qualified.
H. All liabilities, assets, powers and duties of the participating districts shall become the responsibility of the new school district, which district shall be the legal successor in every respect to the school districts participating in the consolidation or conditional consolidation in accordance with law.
Added by Laws 1971, c. 281, § 7-105, eff. July 2, 1971. Amended by Laws 1989, c. 323, § 9, eff. July 1, 1989; Laws 1990, c. 257, § 5, eff. July 1, 1990; Laws 1993, c. 45, § 5, emerg. eff. April 9, 1993; Laws 1994, c. 75, § 1, eff. July 1, 1994; Laws 1997, c. 332, § 2, eff. July 1, 1997; Laws 2001, c. 33, § 85, eff. July 1, 2001.