Oklahoma School Land Auctions Gives Little Help to Area Schools

Tom Eike, Oklahoma Commission of Land Office
Tom Eike, Oklahoma Commission of Land Office
Dan Faulkner, Boise City Schools Superintendent
Dan Faulkner, Boise City Schools Superintendent

School officials and locals say it's an injustice.

But despite the cries for help, Cimarron County is still hurting from a practice that is more than a century old.

The state is auctioning off school land, but the place with the most land is suffering.

Most school districts would like 20 thousand dollars from the state, but when you compare it to the seven million Oklahoma City schools get, it paints a better picture of the inequality in the sooner state.

Every year a portion of Cimarron County is up for auction.

And the money heads to a state trust for schools.

"By statue and by law goes to the school children on a per capita basis," said Tom Eike, the regional commissioner for the Oklahoma Commission of Land Office.

Cimarron county has one third of the states school land.

More than 230 thousand acres.

But yet, the county only gets 33 thousand dollars split between three districts.

To compare, Tulsa County has no school land, but the state rewards them with 7.6 million dollars.

"I feel like we should have a bigger share because it's here. To me that's fair," said Dan Faulkner, the superintendent for Boise City Schools.

The land makes up almost one fourth of the entire county.

And it's not taxable at all.

"The income to the district would probably be anywhere from 250 to 500 thousand dollars. In tax money each year for us," said Faulkner.

Legislation was passed two years ago to help pay Cimarron County more for the land that is not taxable.

But the county still has not seen any money from the state.