Four day school week

A group of rural Oklahoma lawmakers are asking the State Department of Education to reconsider rules they say would end four-day school weeks.

The 16 Republican representatives are calling on the state to make a waiver that would allow for shorter school calendars more attainable.

Sherrie Conley, R-Newcastle, is leading the charge. In a statement, she said four-day school weeks are important for keeping rural school districts afloat.

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 announcement from Mental Health and Substance Abuse Commissioner Terri White stepping down from her position and the House Speaker opposing Governor Stitt by saying the tribal gaming compacts automatically renewed for another 15 years on January 1st.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about a petition filed to allow voters to add recreational marijuana to the state constitution, the battle between Governor Stitt and tribal leaders over gaming compacts heats up as the end of the year gets closer and Oklahoma City Democratic Representative Shane Stone delays his resignation by one daym removing the need for a special election.

 

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

Erika Buzzard Wright doesn’t hesitate to admit she doesn’t know what she’s doing.

Before today, she’s never organized a press conference or put together a media kit. That lack of experience hasn’t stopped her from trying to be a voice for rural Oklahomans who like sending their children to school four days a week instead of five.

Flickr / alamosbasement

Parents and teachers in Oklahoma school districts with four-day weeks gathered at the state capitol Monday to ask lawmakers not to adopt rules they say would effectively end abbreviated school weeks.

Of Oklahoma’s more than 500 school districts, about 100 go to school only four days a week. The practice has exploded in recent years because of a change in how the state measures school years, saying students need to be in class for 1,080 hours rather than 180 days each year.

Ryan LaCroix / KOSU

This session was far less contentious than last session in part because lawmakers were working with a budget surplus. Oklahoma teachers didn’t stage any walkouts, but education was still a dominant topic.

LLUDO / FLICKR (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

With a huge freshman class and a promise for less gridlock, Oklahoma lawmakers filed more than 2,800 bills this legislative session. With a third of the session now over, the StateImpact team has an update on some bills we’re following.

 

Health

 

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 Equalization Board approving appropriations for lawmakers with nearly $575M more than last year, a Senate committee approves SB 605 to expand healthcare through Insure Oklahoma rather than expanding Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act and a bill allowing Oklahomans over the age of 21 to carry a weapon without a permit or training moves one step away from the governor's desk.

A Colorado school district intent on saving money has cut one of its greatest costs: teaching.

The Economist looks at education in Oklahoma, where teacher pay is low and budgets have been cut 28.2% since 2008, the biggest reduction in the country.

Pages