Robby Korth | KGOU

Robby Korth

Reporter for StateImpact Oklahoma

Robby Korth grew up in Ardmore, Oklahoma and Fayetteville, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Nebraska with a journalism degree. He reports on education for StateImpact Oklahoma.

Robby has reported for several newspapers, most recently covering higher education and other topics for The Roanoke Times in southwest Virginia. While there, he co-created the 2018 podcast Septic, spending a year reporting on the story of a missing five-year-old boy, the discovery of his body in a septic tank a few days after his disappearance, and the subsequent court trial of his mother. Although the story was of particular interest to residents in Virginia, the podcast gained a larger audience, named as a New and Noteworthy podcast by Apple.

On a personal note, Robby loves trivia games and won his elementary school's geography bee in 5th grade. 

Ways to Connect

Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Epic Charter Schools’ reconstituted governing board met Tuesday night to approve a more than $335 million budget.

An increase in public funding from the state legislature will benefit Epic, as the virtual charter behemoth estimates it will receive a 20% increase in per pupil funding.

That percentage increase comes as enrollment is likely to decline. Epic officials said during the meeting after reaching a high of 55,000 students, they project 45,000 will attend Epic next fall.


Oklahoma City Public Schools is offering a $3,000 stipend for teachers who speak the most common second languages in its classrooms.

Tulsa Voters Approve Massive School Bond Package

Jun 9, 2021
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Tulsa voters approved a massive $414 million bond package for the city’s public school district on Tuesday.

The package was broken up into four questions focused on improving Tulsa Public Schools’ building, technology and transportation infrastructure as well as funding learning programs.

Epic Charter Schools Severs Ties With Co-Founders

May 27, 2021
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Epic Charter Schools board late Wednesday ended its relationship with the for-profit management company created by its founders.

Positive Tomorrows

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt can now consider a measure banning COVID-19 vaccine and masking requirements for unvaccinated people in schools or on college campuses.

Robby Korth/StateImpact

As the academic year winds down, schools are already looking toward the next one. It’s bound to be more normal. There’s also bound to be thousands of new teachers in Oklahoma’s classrooms.

The Oklahoma State Capitol
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

On Monday evening, Oklahoma's State Board of Education rescinded a recent controversial resolution. The move to equalize charter and traditional public school building funds without controversy follows action by the state legislature.

Oklahoma Capitol
ensign_beedrill / Flickr Creative Commons

A budget deal expected to soon get the final stamp of approval from Gov. Kevin Stitt includes a number of increases for common education.

Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

As the 2020-21 school year winds down, Oklahoma educators are already looking forward to next fall.

State schools superintendent Joy Hofmeister is optimistic for the road ahead, thanks to COVID-19 vaccines. She said vaccinations offer a clear hope that the next school year will be normal.

Associated Press/Sue Ogrocki

The U.S. Department of Education announced Tuesday how it would allocate more than $36 billion to higher education institutions as part of the American Rescue Plan.

Universities, career techs and even seminaries are eligible for a portion of the American Rescue Plan’s disbursement for higher education. A total of 90 Oklahoma institutions could receive a total of more than $418 million.

A new law that bans Critical Race Theory, or really much discussion of race in the classroom, has drawn criticism from educators and support from Oklahoma Republican leaders.

House Bill 1775 was signed into law on Friday by Gov. Kevin Stitt. It prohibits the teaching of Critical Race Theory, which examines the way race and racism have influenced American society, politics and legal systems.


Earlier this week, Oklahoma's State Department of Education announced how much of the $1.5 billion individual school districts would receive from the American Rescue Plan.

The state’s more than 500 school districts will each benefit from the record influx of federal money.

The biggest totals will go to Oklahoma City and Tulsa Public Schools. They're getting $164.7 and $130.7 million respectively.

But it’s big money everywhere.

Logan Layden/StateImpact Oklahoma

It had been well over a year since I’d gotten a trim. And it showed.

My hair was the longest it had ever been in my life. Normally, when it goes over my ears that’s the sign I use to visit a barber. But because of COVID-19 and health professionals urging me to stay home as much as possible, I didn’t get it cut. It grew, grew, grew in the interim. 

By April 2021, it was down to my shoulders. But getting vaccinated meant it was time for a cut. 

Oklahoma State School Boards Association

Oklahoma isn’t in last place.


In fact, teacher pay raises during the 2017 and 2018 sessions mean that over the last five years Oklahoma has actually seen the largest percent increase in average teacher pay.


That’s according to a new analysis by the Oklahoma State School Board’s Association of national state teacher pay rankings from the National Education Association.


Students in caps and gowns sitting in rows at a graduation
John Walker / Flickr

Governor Kevin Stitt signed a bill into law late Wednesday that will require high school graduates in Oklahoma to pass a citizenship test before they can receive their diploma.

a school classroom with empty chairs
comedy_nose / Flickr Creative Commons

A group of Republican lawmakers have proposed a school funding plan that will nullify a controversial settlement announced by Oklahoma’s State Board of Education and fix funding disparities between charter and traditional public schools.

In a 2019 English class at The Academy of Seminole, students write descriptive essays. Charter schools like this one are slated to reap the biggest benefits from a recent State Board of Education action to equalize funding between charter and traditional
StateImpact Oklahoma

A recent resolution announced by Oklahoma’s State Board of Education will transform education funding in Oklahoma by equalizing funding for charter and traditional public schools.

Calumet Elementary School
Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

Lindy Renbarger had to reinvent everything.

The principal of Calumet Elementary is accustomed to doing it all. In her decade at the helm of the school with less than 200 students she’s taken it from a school that scored a “C” on the state report card to regularly getting an “A.”

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit


Pre-K teacher Elvia Walters heads out the door with a bag with school supplies and an iPad for one of her students Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, at Eugene Field Elementary School, in Oklahoma City.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

As the fall 2020 semester ends, Oklahoma teachers are burnt out and discouraged by a semester disrupted by COVID-19. That's according to results of an Oklahoma Education Association survey that measured teacher morale during the pandemic.