Oklahoma Secretary of Education

Oklahoma Secretary of Education

Secretary of Education
Great Seal of Oklahoma
Agency overview
Formed June 6, 1986
Headquarters 655 Research Parkway
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Employees 1,128 (FY2011)
Annual budget $6 billion (FY2011)
Minister responsible
Child agencies
Website Office of the Secretary of Education

The Oklahoma Secretary of Education is a member of the Oklahoma Governor's Cabinet. The Secretary is appointed by the Governor, with the consent of the Oklahoma Senate, to serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The Secretary serves as the chief advisor to the Governor on public education issues and needs.

The 5th and current Secretary is Natalie Shirley, having been appointed by Governor Mary Fallin on January 22, 2015.[1]


  • History 1
  • Dual Position 2
  • Responsibilities 3
  • Agencies overseen 4
  • Salary 5
  • List of Secretaries 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


The position of Secretary of Education was established, along with the Oklahoma Governor's Cabinet, by the Executive Branch Reform Act of 1986. The Act directs the Secretary of Education to advise the Governor on public education policy and advise the state public education agencies on new policy as directed by the Governor.

Dual Position

Oklahoma state law allows for Cabinet Secretaries to serve concurrently as the head of a State agency in addition to their duties as a Cabinet Secretary. Historically, the Secretary of Education has not served in any such dual position.


The Secretary of Education oversees the State's public education system. This includes elementary education, secondary education, vocational education and higher education. The Secretary is chiefly responsible for ensuring accountability and performance from the educational system. The Secretary also oversees all libraries in the State and is responsible for ensuring that teachers are appropriately prepared to perform their duties.

As of fiscal year 2011, the Secretary of Education oversees 1,128 full-time employees and is responsible for an annual budget of over $6 billion. Of that budget, only $209 million (or 3%) is spent on operating the various State agencies under the Secretary's supervision. The remaining $5.9 billion is used as payments to local education agencies, such as school districts and universities, to support their activities.

The Oklahoma Legislature has charged the Secretary with several duties and responsibilities:[2]

  • Overseeing the Oklahoma Office of Educational Quality and Accountability
  • Monitor the efforts of the local school districts to comply with the State education standards
  • Identify local school districts not making satisfactory progress toward compliance with State education standards and recommend appropriate corrective actions to the Oklahoma State Department of Education
  • Develops and implements a standardized performance measure to gauge the performance of local school districts
  • Review the progress and effectiveness of the Education Reform Act of 1990
  • Analyze the revenues for all systems of education and the expenditure of common education revenue
  • Implementation the Oklahoma Teacher Preparation Act
  • Make recommendations to the Governor and Legislature on methods to achieve an aligned, seamless system from preschool through post-secondary education
  • Submit recommendations regarding funding for education or statutory changes to the Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, the President Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma Senate, and the Governor of Oklahoma

Agencies overseen

The Secretary of Education oversees the following state entities:


The annual salary for the position of Secretary of Education set by State law at $65,000.[3] Despite this, if the Secretary serves as the head of State agency, the Secretary receives the higher of the two salaries.

List of Secretaries

# Name Took Office Left Office Governor served under
1 Sandy Garrett 1987 1991 Henry Bellmon
1991 1995 David Walters
2 Floyd Coppedge 1995 2003 Frank Keating
Vacant 2003 2011 Brad Henry
3 Phyllis Hudecki January 10, 2011 2013 Mary Fallin
4 Robert Sommers 2014 2015 Mary Fallin
5 Natalie Shirley 2015 Present Mary Fallin


  1. ^ Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin makes appointment to her Cabinet
  2. ^ Section 3-118, Title 70, Oklahoma Statutes - Secretary of Education Duties
  3. ^ Paragraph 4, Section 10.5, Title 74, Oklahoma Statutes

External links

  • Members of the Governor's Cabinet