Oklahoma Department of Education

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Civil Rights Attorney Ryan Kiesel and former House Speaker Kris Steele about Governor Stitt's restrictions on bars and restaurants and mask requirement for state employees and in state buildings to curb the spread of COVID-19 as well as Stitt's firing the president of the Virtual Charter School Board as he was investigating Epic Virtual Charter School.

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

A group of Republican lawmakers are calling for an investigative audit of Oklahoma’s State Department of Education in the wake of state auditor Cindy Byrd’s explosive report about Epic Charter Schools.

The Oklahoma State Board of Education is asking for a funding increase for the state’s public school system in next year’s legislative session. But, the budget wishlist is on that lawmakers will find difficult to meet.

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Following hours of contentious debate, Oklahoma’s State Board of Education voted down a proposal that would’ve mandated masks in many schools.

The Oklahoma State Department of Education on Wednesday released a comprehensive framework for returning to school next fall.

The 74-page "Return To Learn" plan will help guide schools as they reopen in the fall. The framework includes guidance on School Operations, Academics and Growth, Whole Child and Family Supports and School Personnel.

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

The coronavirus will change school next fall.

The Oklahoma State Department of Education has issued a series of guidelines for schools. But will we see a statewide shutdown of schools and shift to distance learning next fall like we did this spring?

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The body that oversees high school sports narrowly voted Friday to not approve rules to phase in summer activities.

The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association board of directors voted 7-6 Friday to reject a proposed plan that would have eased into high school sport summer activities.

The rejection paves the way for schools to begin hosting sporting clinic and camps the first week of June as long as there aren’t any superseding local or state restrictions.

Because of a legislative session shortened by COVID-19, only a handful of education policy bills moved through the House and Senate to make it to the governor’s desk.

Time constraints meant only the bills most important to lawmakers could make it to Gov. Kevin Stitt.

So a hodgepodge of priority education legislation is currently being considered by the governor.

If signed by the governor, they would tweak virtual charter school rules, combat the teacher shortage and take other narrow measures.

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

School is about to be out for summer.

Spring 2020 was a semester like no other after Oklahoma schools switched to a distance learning environment to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Oklahoma school districts will receive up to $145 million in emergency funding from the federal CARES Act. The money will be doled out based on how many low income students attend each school.

The state’s two largest districts — Oklahoma City and Tulsa — are by far the largest recipients, receiving $17.3 million and $16.2 million respectively. Putnam City Schools sit at number three and could get $4.5 million.

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