This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill talk about Governor Fallin vetoing a bill to keep cities from banning guns at events, but signs a bill allowing for guns at schools as well as two $25 million bonds for the American Indian Cultural Center in Oklahoma City and the OK POP museum in Tulsa.
The trio also discuss calls by Republicans to fire a member of the state GOP who pleaded guilty to domestic abuse and for the first time this fiscal year, general revenue collections fell below estimates.
Competition can be fierce in Oklahoma’s high school extracurricular activities. From athletic fields to performance halls, students take seriously the trophies they bring back to their schools. One award-winning Tulsa-area music program has decided to step away from a hallmark band contest to make the spring semester all about the music.
The Bixby High School marching band, better known as The Pride of Bixby, won its number one spot during marching season with a crazy kind of circus on the field. Unicyclers, tumblers, disappearing color guard members and rotating horn players spread across the gridiron, helping to make their show number one in the state in its class, 6A-2.
But the band intentionally fell silent for the spring state concert band contest. For the second year in a row, the Bixby High School band chose to pass on this contest.
As the school year winds down, administrators are ramping up their search for next year’s teachers. But that search is tougher and more competitive than normal. The state is currently in need of 1,000 teachers, according to State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister. But there’s a shallow pool of applicants.
Emily Wendler reports on what’s causing the teacher shortage, what schools are doing to fill in the gaps, and how it’s affecting kids.
Robyn Venable has been a teacher in Oklahoma for 31 years. Currently she teaches life skills at Charles Page High School in Sand Springs.
“I always wanted to be a special education teacher. Ever since the third grade.”
She says she’s loved it, and it’s been a good run, but it’s time to retire. She had cancer, and that influenced her decision to leave, but she also says the teaching profession has changed over the years and the money is no longer worth the headaches.