Flickr / Kevin Dooley

Bill Would Require 'In God We Trust' in Every Oklahoma Classroom

A Senate Committee passed a bill Monday morning that would force schools to display the national motto “In God We Trust” in every classroom. Senate Bill 1016 requires the placement of the motto, as soon as private funds are available. Grove Republican Senator Wayne Shaw says he authored the bill because the national motto is on the official currency of United States, so it should be in Oklahoma classrooms. “It’s our national motto–I think it needs to be displayed, first of all. Secondly,...

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Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

One Way To Relieve Overcrowded Prisons: Make Lock-Up A Last Resort For Probation Violations

More than 30 people sit uncomfortably on hard, wooden benches under the watchful eyes of Judge Tim Henderson. It’s late morning in Henderson’s courtroom at the Oklahoma County courthouse. Some people have been waiting for hours. Most of these people are on probation, and they’re anxiously waiting for their chance to make a deal. Judge Henderson says these people broke their plea agreements. COMING TO TERMS Oklahoma’s prisons are bursting at the seams. A state task force charged with reforming...

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Photos by Mike Morgan and Sandy Honig

Starting soon Ailsa Chang will host All Things Considered along with Audie Cornish, Mary Louise Kelly and Ari Shapiro; and Noel King will join David Greene, Steve Inskeep and Rachel Martin as the fourth host of Morning Edition and the Up First podcast.

Editor's note: This story was originally published in October and has been republished with updates following the shooting Wednesday in Florida.

It was the deadliest school shooting since a gunman took 26 lives at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, Conn. On Wednesday, a shooter killed at least 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

Updated at 2:40 a.m. ET on Thursday

The Broward Sheriff's Office has identified the suspect in Wednesday's deadly school shooting as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, a former student who had been expelled for disciplinary reasons. Law enforcement says Cruz carried out the attack that killed at least 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and left others hospitalized with gunshot wounds.

Cruz is now in police custody after briefly receiving treatment at a local hospital.

Headlines for Thursday, February 15, 2018:

  • Revenue collections for January come in $122M more than estimates. (NewsOK)

  • Doerflinger’s resignation impacts the Health Department. (Journal Record)

Updated at 10 p.m. ET

The Broward, Fla., sheriff said 17 people are dead in the Wednesday shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the city of Parkland, northwest of Fort Lauderdale. He said a suspect is in custody.

In news conferences after the incident, Sheriff Scott Israel said 12 of the people who died were found inside the school building and two were found just outside. Another victim was on the street, and two people died at the hospital.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A group wanting to raise gross production taxes is gearing up after the failure of Step Up Oklahoma.

Restore Oklahoma Now is proposing State Question 795 to raise GPT to 7% which will bring in an extra $288 million with most of that going to common education.

Executive Director Mickey Thompson says he delayed pushing forward while Step Up Oklahoma worked its way through the State Capitol.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

Interim health commissioner Preston Doerflinger resigned Wednesday after allegations of past spousal abuse surfaced.

The board of the Oklahoma State Department of Health accepted Doerflinger’s resignation, after spending over an hour in a private meeting to discuss his employment.

CITY OF OKLAHOMA CITY

For the first time in 14 years, somebody other than Mick Cornett will be the mayor of Oklahoma City. But the city’s new mayor-elect already knows his way around the office.

David Holt cruised to victory Tuesday night in a three-way race to replace Cornett. Holt earned 78 percent of the vote in the Oklahoma City mayoral primary, beating Taylor Neighbors and Randall Smith. Holt will take the office on April 10.

Headlines for Wednesday, February 14, 2018:

  • Interim health Commissioner resigns after allegations of past spousal abuse surface. (NewsOK)

  • Republicans are considering 40-million dollars in cuts to agency budgets. (Tulsa World)

It's time to crank up the amps, warm up the drum machines, dust off the sax (or whatever your instrument of choice is) and enter the Tiny Desk Contest.

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KOSU's Michael Cross talks about political news in Oklahoma with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican political consultant Neva Hill.

Education News

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma lawmakers have butted heads for years over how to increase funding for education, but one recurring idea has been to give schools more flexibility in spending the money they already have.

A new bill filed by Sen. Josh Brecheen, R-Coalgate, is the most recent attempt to do this.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma City Public School Board of Education voted to accept Superintendent Aurora Lora’s resignation Tuesday night.

OKLAHOMA STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

The State Department of Education surveyed thousands of former teachers about why they left the profession, and what it would take to get them back. The survey results, released Monday, suggest most quit because of low pay.

When asked the open-ended question, “Why did you quit teaching in Oklahoma Public Schools?” 34 percent of respondents cited pay or a better opportunity.

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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.