37 Education Bills We're Keeping An Eye On

Lawmakers filed hundreds of education bills this session, seeking solutions to teacher pay, testing, and school funding in general. Here is a list of more than 30 bills that KOSU will be following closely this legislative session. BILLS CONCERNING EDUCATION SAVINGS ACCOUNTS ESAs are similar to school vouchers. They are meant to give parents more choices in how they educate their children. However, they are very controversial because they take money away from public schools. There are currentl...
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Hear Ferris O'Brien every weeknight, from 9 p.m. to midnight, on The Spy.

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders won clear, early and decisive victories in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night.

Trump beat the GOP field by double digits. He got 35 percent of the vote, well ahead of surprise second-place finisher John Kasich, who pulled in 16 percent. Kasich was followed by Ted Cruz at 12 percent, Jeb Bush at 11 percent and Marco Rubio, who, after a poor debate performance Saturday, faded to fifth just shy of 11 percent.

Headlines for Wednesday, February 10, 2016:

  • Oklahoma’s general revenue takes another hit as collections plummet in January. (Tulsa World)

  • A bill some say targets the rights of the LGBTQ community dies in a senate panel vote. (KFOR)

The heart of the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan is now on hold, after the Supreme Court granted a stay request that blocks the EPA from moving ahead with rules that would lower carbon emissions from the nation's power plants.

The case is scheduled to be argued in June, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. But a decision could be long in coming, particularly if the case winds up in the Supreme Court — meaning that the rules' fate might not be determined before a new presidential administration comes into power in 2017.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A former research seismologist with the Oklahoma Geological Survey says agency leaders and other state officials fostered a culture of hesitation and reluctance to act on science suggesting the state’s earthquake boom was linked to oil and gas activities.

The Oklahoma company Chesapeake Energy’s stock value plummeted Monday. Over the past year, the stock is down more than 90 percent.

Chesapeake is the second-largest natural gas extractor in the U.S. and a major employer in Oklahoma. Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson talks with Brian Hardzinski of KGOU in Oklahoma City about how Chesapeake Energy’s struggles are affecting Oklahoma’s economy.

Headlines for Tuesday, February 9, 2016:

  • The State Treasurer announces the largest plunge in monthly gross receipts in more than five years. (Norman Transcript)

  • Deeper cuts to agencies coming in March. (Tulsa World)

The History of Mental Health Care in Oklahoma

Feb 9, 2016
Oklahoman Archive (used with permission)

Oklahoma has spent among the least in the nation on its mental health system, a trend that dates back decades. Currently, Oklahoma is among 10 states that spend the least per capita on mental health.

Jaclyn Cosgrove, health reporter at The Oklahoman, joins us to talk about her yearlong project on mental illness and addiction in Oklahoma.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Deeper budget cuts are coming for Oklahoma's schools, health care, roads and prisons.

Oklahoma's Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger notified state agencies Monday that continued declines in revenue collections will require deeper cuts than the 3 percent reductions that were ordered to begin in January.

Collections to the state treasury have continued to come in below projections, prompting a revenue failure.

The deeper cuts are expected to begin in March, although Doerflinger says the exact percentage reduction won't be determined until next week.

Dozens of parents opposed to mandatory vaccinations for their children are rallying at the Oklahoma Capitol.

About 100 people rallied Monday on the second floor of the Capitol, many of them wearing shirts that read "Oklahomans for Vaccine Choice" and "Medical Mandates are not OK."

Headlines for Monday, February 8, 2016:

  • Governor Fallin’s plans to fill the $900 million budget hole. (Oklahoma Watch)

  • Governor Mary Fallin is facing criticism for her plan to give teachers a raise. (Fox25)

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Education News

Lawmakers filed hundreds of education bills this session, seeking solutions to teacher pay, testing, and school funding in general. Here is a list of more than 30 bills that KOSU will be following closely this legislative session.

BILLS CONCERNING EDUCATION SAVINGS ACCOUNTS

U.S. Department of Education / Flickr

Oklahoma’s new English Language Arts and Math standards are finally complete, and have been approved by the State Board of Education. They now await the legislature’s approval. 

The Department of Education was tasked with creating new math and English standards after the Oklahoma legislature repealed the Common Core curriculum in 2014.

Oklahoma Senator David Holt is proposing $10,000 teacher pay raises over the next few years. And Holt says this can be done without raising taxes. 

His plan is three pronged. School districts would be consolidated and excess money would go to teacher pay. All revenue growth after fiscal year 2017 would go directly to raises, and the the state would find another $200 million by reforming tax credits.

Holt said legislators have a moral obligation to raise pay, and help solve the teacher shortage.

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KOSU Program

A weekly two-hour show of Oklahoma music, from across the state. The show opens a window of Oklahoma music to the rest of the world.

Political News

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders won clear, early and decisive victories in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night.

Trump beat the GOP field by double digits. He got 35 percent of the vote, well ahead of surprise second-place finisher John Kasich, who pulled in 16 percent. Kasich was followed by Ted Cruz at 12 percent, Jeb Bush at 11 percent and Marco Rubio, who, after a poor debate performance Saturday, faded to fifth just shy of 11 percent.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill about the State of the State Address from Governor Fallin, a plan to increase cigarette taxes by $1.50 per pack and bills to eliminate, reduce or put a moratorium on tax credits.

The trio also discuss Senator James Lankford's plan to eliminate federal tax credits on wind energy and the Iowa Caucus results with less than a month before Oklahoma's Presidential Primary on Super Tuesday.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum ended his White House campaign on Wednesday and threw his support behind Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

"We are suspending our campaign as of this moment," Santorum said on Fox News Channel's On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.

Santorum said that after much prayer, he had decided that he was suspending his campaign. After talking to Rubio for more than an hour on Tuesday, Santorum said, he decided to back him, calling him the best person to continue the message of fighting ISIS and defending "the central role of the family."

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