Education Funding

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about State Question 801 before voter which would allow school districts to use a portion of their building funds for other purposes and with one week until early voting how are the races going for Kevin Stitt and Drew Edmondson.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

If Daryl Fisher, a supervisor at a group home for young men, could fix one thing in Oklahoma, it would be education.

“Everybody always focuses on kids,” he said in an interview at a gas station in downtown Oklahoma City. “But are we really focusing on kids when we’re opening up more jails, trying to make more room, and not educating them? Are we really focusing on them?”

Hazel O'Neil

Carla Burton wakes up every weekday at 4 a.m. to drive Lyft and Uber.

Then, after she drives for about an hour and a half in the early hours, she heads back home to get her daughter ready for school.

At 7 a.m., Burton starts her “real job” as an administrative assistant at Star Spencer High School in Oklahoma City.

When her workday ends in the afternoon, she picks up her daughter from school. Then she hits the road again, sometimes driving as late as midnight.

“I have to be out here doing this,” she said.

Hazel O'Neil

Andrea Brawdy, a special education teacher at James Griffith Intermediate School in Choctaw, Oklahoma, just received the first pay raise of her 12-year teaching career: $414 more per month.

Getting this raise was no small feat. Even after teachers around the state demanded a substantial pay increase, they still left their classrooms to take part in a two-week long teacher walkout at the Capitol building this April. They wanted to bring attention to their demands: better pay, better benefits, and better treatment of teachers.

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.

State Question 801 would allow school leaders to spend money in their building fund — currently restricted for things like construction projects, maintenance and repairs, utilities, and custodians’ salaries — in new ways.

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Oklahoma’s State Board of Education is set to approve a record-breaking number of emergency teaching certifications at its meeting Thursday, a strong indication a statewide teacher shortage is still growing.

When the Oklahoma Legislature passed House Bill 1010xx in March, it was the first time lawmakers had increased state taxes in 28 years. Both the House and the Senate applauded themselves.

The governor acted swiftly to sign the bill, and at first, it seemed like a reason for school leaders to celebrate. They had been begging lawmakers to increase teacher pay for years, and it finally happened.

But the excitement quickly faded.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Poltical Consultant Neva Hill and sitting in for Ryan Kiesel is Oklahoma City Democratic Representative Forrest Bennett about arguments before the state Supreme Court on a repeal of a tax paying for raises to teachers, school support staff and state workers and a new study places Oklahoma number one in the nation and number one for countries with a population of more than 500,000 in incarceration.

The Call-In: Teaching And School Funding

Apr 29, 2018

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This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the 2018 candidate filings which resulted in nearly 800 people deciding to run for public office, State Attorney General Mike Hunter faces a challenge to his candidacy based off his residency and lawmakers advance seven bills designed to reform Oklahoma's criminal justice system.

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