Anxiety About Teacher Pay Raises Grows As Tax Repeal Effort Builds and Legal Questions Mount

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. Oklahoma Taxpayers Unite, a group backed by former Republican U.S....

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'Is This What I Want to Be Doing For The Rest of My Life?': Changing Careers To Fight Homelessness

The StoryCorps mobile booth was in Oklahoma City in early 2018, and we're bringing you some of the stories that were recorded here. Locally recorded stories will air Wednesdays during Morning Edition and All Things Considered on KOSU. On April 19, 1995, Dan Straughan went to work at the Federal Reserve Bank in Oklahoma City, just across from the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. He wasn’t a victim of the bombing, but that day, the impact, changed his life forever. He came to the StoryCorps...

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Could Deep, Previously Unmapped Faults Be a Source of Oklahoma's Earthquake Uptick?

Previously unmapped faults in Oklahoma could be contributing to an intense uptick in earthquakes triggered by oil-field wastewater disposal, a new study suggests. Scientists have linked thousands of earthquakes to the energy industry practice of pumping oil-field waste fluid into underground disposal wells in recent years, but t he new research helps explain why much of the shaking doesn’t line up with maps of known faults, most of which detail fault formations within a mile of the surface. ...

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Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma voters on June 26 will decide if the licensed cultivation, use and possession of marijuana for medicinal purposes should be legal.

We're nearing the end of the 2018 fiscal year here at KOSU and we're very excited to offer an exclusive thank you gift in order to fulfill our goals for the year. Each $100 donation (or more) will receive a custom printed poster featuring the 1st Amendment, designed by Robot House Creative specifically for KOSU.

Updated at 7:55 p.m. ET

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is continuing to defend the Trump administration's controversial "zero tolerance" policy that results in separating children from their parents who enter the U.S. illegally.

Nielsen appeared at the White House press briefing on Monday, falsely blaming Democrats for the current crisis and arguing that the impetus is on Congress to pass a law to close legal loopholes.

Headlines for Monday, June 18, 2018:

With a litany of alleged ethics controversies swirling at home, embattled Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt took the show on the road this week, meeting with farmers in a handful of Midwestern states to talk about his policy agenda.

While Thursday evening's meeting in Lincoln, Neb., was polite, the reception in other states has not been as welcoming, especially when it comes to conversations about his ethanol policies.

Previously unmapped faults in Oklahoma could be contributing to an intense uptick in earthquakes triggered by oil-field wastewater disposal, a new study suggests.

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.

Updated at 3:57 a.m. ET Saturday

President Trump is enacting a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of Chinese goods "that contain industrially significant technologies," after months of exchanging threats amid concerns over a potential trade war.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin to collect tariffs on the first $34 billion worth of Chinese imports on July 6. A second set of imports subject to tariffs is still under review.

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.

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Education News

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.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday over the legality of a petition to overturn new state taxes.

The petition, which is being circulated by an anti-tax group called Oklahoma Tax Payers Unite, seeks to overturn HB1010xx, a $430 million tax package lawmakers passed this year. The legislation raises taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel, imposes a new tax on cigarettes and little cigars and increases oil and gas taxes from 2 percent to 5 percent.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Deborah Gist cried as she stepped across the small stage in front the Oklahoma State Capitol. The Superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools and a group of educators had just finished a 110-mile walk from Tulsa to Oklahoma City to highlight their fight for more school funding.

It was the seventh day of Oklahoma’s teacher walkout, and thousands of supporters rallied to greet the group as it finished the final mile.

“This is not a rally,” Gist yelled to the crowd. “This is not a protest. This is a movement!”

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