Oklahoma Gov. Stitt and Superintendent Walters partner to increase government efficiency

The Oklahoma governor announced a new initiative to increase government efficiency – and the state’s education superintendent was the first to take decisive action.

Gov. Kevin Stitt announced on Feb. 28 that Oklahoma would be reviewing its vehicle fleet with the intent to cut superfluous costs.

“We’re always looking for ways to make government more efficient while being good stewards of taxpayer dollars,” the governor said in a press release, which revealed that of the state’s 10,800 vehicles, 7,955 – or 74% – are underutilized.

The first person to jump on the bandwagon was Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters, who turned in 13 unnecessary vehicles from his jurisdiction. Stitt praised Walters for being a good steward of taxpayer monies.

State vehicles are considered underutilized if they drive fewer than 12,000 miles a year. Maintaining the fleet costs Oklahoma more than $8 million annually.

Stitt later visited Walters and the Department of Education to express support for their work in advancing school choice.

The governor had already made a point of trying to reduce government superfluity, expressing a desire to reduce both income tax and grocery tax.

School districts are another area policy experts say government waste can be reduced.

On Friday, federal and state auditors found that schools nationwide misspent millions of the COVID-19 relief funds they received. 

Walters, who started his four-year term just two months ago, has previously promised to reform Oklahoma’s education system, focus on student outcomes, and increase accountability and transparency.