Emily Wendler / KOSU

Oklahoma Schools Say They Need More Funding, So Why Can't They Get It?

Superintendents across Oklahoma are begging lawmakers to do something about school funding. Ultimately, school officials want more money, but that requires raising taxes, which is a tough thing to do in Oklahoma—for many reasons. However, this year, solutions are popping up in unexpected places. The Superintendent of Ponca City Public Schools, David Pennington, said if education funding is cut next year he is going to have to drastically change the way his school functions. “It’s hard for me...

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In The 1920s, A Community Conspired To Kill Native Americans For Their Oil Money

Generations ago, the American Indian Osage tribe was compelled to move. Not for the first time, white settlers pushed them off their land in the 1800s. They made their new home in a rocky, infertile area in northeast Oklahoma in hopes that settlers would finally leave them alone. As it turned out, the land they had chosen was rich in oil, and in the early 20th century, members of the tribe became spectacularly wealthy. They bought cars and built mansions; they made so much oil money that the...

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Blink while driving on Highway 34, east of Greeley, Colo., and you might miss the former town of Dearfield.

All that's left of the once-thriving town on Colorado's eastern plains are a rundown gas station, a partially collapsed lunch counter and a former lodge. They are the only indication that there was once a community here. The grass around these buildings is crispy and straw-colored, whipped back and forth by relentless winds. The snowcapped Rocky Mountains barely peek through the haze to the west.

Headlines for Wednesday, April 12, 2017:

  • Oklahoma needs to borrow more money to pay expenses. (NewsOK)

  • Medicaid providers could face another cut from the state. (Journal Record)

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Alaa Al-Faqir/Reuters

“It just wears you down,” says Joshua Landis, talking about the civil war in Syria.

Landis is the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, and an internationally recognized expert on the conflict. He lived in Syria for years before the war. And he is married to a Syrian.

The civil war in Syria has created colossal human suffering. That's been evident from day one. But it can still be surprising how profoundly this war has changed the lives of Syrians at home and abroad.

cole.house.gov

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, says he and a bipartisan group of Congressmen will send a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan this week to request a new Congressional Authorization for the Use of Force.

The request comes after U.S. ships fired missiles at an airbase in Syria last Thursday. The country’s ruler, Bashar al-Assad, used the airbase to deploy apparent chemical weapons against Syrian citizens last week.

Headlines for Monday, April 10, 2017:

  • A plan to increase gross production taxes faces a tough battle in the legislature. (Tulsa World)

  • A bill letting Oklahomans buy insurance from out-of-state carriers faces a House committee this week. (NewsOK)

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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U.S. lawmakers are divided on President Trump’s decision to retaliate against the Syrian government after its apparent use of chemical weapons.

Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET

Russian President Vladimir Putin is calling the missile strike President Trump ordered against Syria on Thursday "an act of aggression against a sovereign state delivered in violation of international law under a far-fetched pretext."

Headlines for Friday, April 7, 2017:

  • Governor Fallin approves a $34 million supplemental to the Department of Human Services. (Tulsa World)

  • The Finance Secretary wants the opinion from the state’s top lawyer on his authority to borrow from the rainy day fund. (NewsOK)

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the state legislature reaching the halfway point in the session, leaders of the House and Senate announce they hope to limit cuts to common education to little or nothing in the upcoming fiscal year and Scott Pruitt faces an investigation by the Oklahoma Bar Association on accusations of lying to a U.S. Senate committee during his confirmation hearing to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

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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.

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Education News

Emily Wendler / KOSU

Superintendents across Oklahoma are begging lawmakers to do something about school funding. Ultimately, school officials want more money, but that requires raising taxes, which is a tough thing to do in Oklahoma—for many reasons. However, this year, solutions are popping up in unexpected places.

The Superintendent of Ponca City Public Schools, David Pennington, said if education funding is cut next year he is going to have to drastically change the way his school functions.  

Flickr / texasbackroads

The Senate passed a measure on Thursday that will overhaul Oklahoma's A through F School Report Card system.

For years, educators have called Oklahoma's A through F school report card flawed and unfair. They say the focus on student test scores is a bad way to measure a school’s performance.

Under House Bill 1693, the newly proposed system will focus more on student academic growth from year to year.

Flickr / texasbackroads

In 1999, a Minnesota educator was removed from teaching biology, after school administrators learned he was focusing on creationism, and not evolution.

A bill now heading to the Oklahoma House floor would protect teachers from such backlash, if they chose to do something similar.

The House General Government Oversight and Accountability Committee voted 4-3 Thursday to send the Senate-passed bill to the House floor for a vote.

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