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education funding

Dick Pryor/KGOU

In this episode of Capitol Insider, freshman Democratic Senator Mary Boren shares her thoughts on Oklahoma's political process, including why she thinks the state legislature is not equipped to deal with "complex issues."

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services’ Human Services Center in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

Gov. Stitt has decided to replace the head of the Dept. of Human Services, one of Oklahoma's largest state agencies, with Justin Brown, the CEO of a company that owns assisted living facilities in Oklahoma and neighboring states. In this episode, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss this and more. 

Lawmakers adjourned the 2019 legislative session Thursday. StateImpact reporters followed a number of issues this year. They sit down to talk about the bills that made it to the end of the session and those that are in limbo.

Mike Boettcher / Unfiltered/OU Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication

In this episode of Capitol Insider, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss the opposing approaches to K-12 education causing a rift at the state capitol. House leadership is standing with Gov. Stitt, while the Senate has a plan of its own. 

Caroline Halter/KGOU

In this episode of Capitol Insider, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley sit down with House Speaker Charles McCall. McCall says it's time for lawmakers to find a way to provide affordable health care to Oklahomans, and Medicaid expansion is one option. 

Oklahoma State Capitol
LLudo / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

In this episode of Capitol Insider, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss why lawmakers have once again failed to meet the legal deadline to fund public education and the Stitt administration's plan for more state agency audits.

It has been nearly one year since the teacher walkout, when thousands of educators flooded Oklahoma’s state capitol demanding better pay and more school funding. After nine days and little progress, they turned their attention to the 2018 elections.

Sue Ogrocki/AP

In this episode of Capitol Insider, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley interview Senate Democratic Leader Kay Floyd of Oklahoma City. Floyd explains her opposition to the Republican plan to give the governor more authority over state agencies and her hopes for increasing education funding.

Last year, teachers walked out and protested at the State Capitol, demanding a pay raise, which they got. But they also clamored for increased education funding and many are pressing for that again in 2019.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Last year’s teacher walkout brought a renewed focus on Oklahoma’s financial commitment to public schools.

Educators march in front of the state Capitol on April 11, the teacher walkout’s eighth day.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

The first post-walkout legislative session is getting underway and lawmakers have proposed bills aimed at alleviating the teacher shortage and making changes to the state’s public education system.

A graph showing the growth in the student population and decline in teacher population.
Oklahoma State Department of Education

The State Department of Education is asking lawmakers to increase education funding by a total of $440 million next year.

Included in the agency’s budget proposal for the 2019-2020 public school year is a request for an additional $273 million to help school districts hire more teachers and reduce class sizes.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Kevin Stitt promotes his plan for education at the Oklahoma State School Boards Conference in Oklahoma City.
Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Public school teachers are watching closely as Oklahoma gubernatorial candidates promote and debate their plans for improving health care, tax policy and education.

Students work on computers in a John Rex Charter Middle School classroom at the Myriad Gardens complex in Oklahoma City.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma is moving closer to changing the way it funds schools after a yearlong look at the education funding formula by a group of lawmakers and educators.

Koln Knight is the superintendent of Cushing Public Schools.
Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma education leaders say a state question designed to give districts more spending flexibility will do little to improve public schools’ financial difficulties.

Brody Smith is an incoming junior at Noble High School.
Mia Mamone / KGOU

Danica Thompson settles into a couch in the back of Gray Owl Coffee in Norman, where patrons tap away on laptops or read books, surrounded by the smell of freshly-brewed coffee and pastries.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Legislature adjourned onThursday night, ending its yearly session three weeks before the constitutional deadline on May 25.  

After two special sessions left over from last year’s budget woes, a teacher protest that lasted almost two weeks and more than a year of struggling to find funds for state services, lawmakers passed a $7.6 billion dollar state budget in April, the largest in state history.  Here’s a few more of state lawmakers’ accomplishments this year.

 

Teacher Pay Raise:

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

 Oklahoma Education Association president Alicia Priest called the nine-day teacher walkout a “victory for teachers” after it ended on Thursday, April 12. But KGOU’s Dick Pryor and eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley say most of the gains came before the walkout began.

 

 

[UNFILTERED] /Elizabeth Sims

On Friday, April 6, Oklahoma legislators passed two more revenue bills in addition to the $447 revenue package they hoped would prevent a teacher walkout this week.

One requires third-party vendors on Amazon Marketplace to collect a sales tax. The other, the so-called "ball and dice" bill, changes rules for casinos to generate revenue. Both passed, although the ball and dice bill will not take effect immediately. They now head to Gov. Mary Fallin.

Trevor Brown / Oklahoma Watch

A controversial proposal to end a tax break that benefits fewer than 18,000 Oklahomans – the vast majority of whom make upwards of $200,000 – is at the center of the debate over how lawmakers can find more money for education and potentially end the teacher walkout.

Teachers, education advocates and House Democrats have launched a renewed push since the teacher work stoppage began on Monday for the Legislature to pass a bill that would eliminate the state’s capital gains deduction.

Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Boosting teacher pay by an average of $6,000—which the Legislature approved last week—wasn’t enough to put the brakes on a massive shut-down of schools to rally at the state Capitol. An estimated 30,000 people attended Monday’s rally, and many school districts are closed again Tuesday so the walkout can continue.

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