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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Headlines for Tuesday, February 1, 2016:

Gov. Mary Fallin proposed bold changes to Oklahoma's budget, the criminal justice system, and said she wants lawmakers to get behind a $3,000 pay raise for teachers during her 2016 State of the State address.

The $900 million-and-counting budget shortfall lawmakers will have to deal with hangs over everything this session, but Fallin remained optimistic even as she cited a two-year, 70 percent drop in oil prices that's affected state revenue.

"We can do it," the governor repeated.

Iowa has once again proved its perennial resistance to political inevitability and the power of personality.

In this year's iteration of the Iowa caucuses, national polling leaders Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton had their campaign momentum slowed in significant ways by party activists who preferred their rivals.

A big win in Iowa might have set either leader on the path to a relatively easy nomination. But that was not to be, and now both Trump and Clinton face difficult and perhaps protracted struggles to overcome rivals they had hoped to dismiss.

Mike Huckabee is ending his presidential campaign after a disappointing Iowa finish.

The former Arkansas governor — who won the Iowa caucuses in 2008 — announced on his Twitter account that he will be suspending his campaign. He was finishing a disappointing 9th in the state he carried eight years ago.

After a disappointing performance in Iowa, Martin O'Malley is suspending his presidential campaign.

Sources close to the former Maryland governor confirmed the news to NPR and say he will speak soon in Des Moines. Despite campaigning heavily in the Hawkeye State, O'Malley barely registered on Monday night. In many caucuses, he failed to achieve viability — or at least 15 percent at a caucus site — and his supporters were forced to shift their support to either former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin's $6.99 billion budget proposal for next year is only $52 million less than that of the current fiscal year and relies on revenue "enhancements" and "adjustments" to overcome what could become a $1 billion budget hole.

Here are the winners and losers in the governor's budget plan:

WINNERS:

Two E. coli outbreaks linked to Chipotle restaurants "appear to be over," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

The first, larger outbreak hit 55 people in 11 states, with Washington having the most cases, the CDC says. The second outbreak, which was caused by a different strain of E. coli, infected five people in Oklahoma, Kansas and North Dakota.

The CDC says it last received a report of an illness related to the outbreaks on Dec. 1, 2015.

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality just added eight lakes to its fish consumption advisory, which now includes 40 lakes in total. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the fish aren’t safe to eat. Just try not to eat too much.

Gov. Mary Fallin is preparing to deliver her sixth State of the State address to Oklahoma legislators, outlining her priorities for a state that is reeling from a downturn in the oil and gas industry.

The second-term Republican is expected to deliver her remarks about 12:45 p.m. Monday to a joint meeting of the House and Senate as the Legislature convenes its 2016 session. Fallin also will release her proposed balanced budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, including how she will fill a $900 million hole. That is about a 13 percent reduction from last year's spending.

Headlines for Monday, February 1, 2016:

  • The new legislative session officially begins with the State of the State Address. (Tulsa World)

  • Breaking down State of the State Addresses of the past. (Tulsa World)

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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.

More Education News

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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.

Political News

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie plans to suspend his campaign for president, a source close to the Christie campaign tells member station WNYC.

The decision comes after a sixth-place finish in New Hampshire, where Christie had banked so much of his political capital.

"I love New Hampshire," the governor tweeted Tuesday. "I am comfortable to have my fate in your hands."

Carly Fiorina is exiting the Republican presidential race after a seventh-place showing in last night's New Hampshire primary.

"While I suspend my candidacy today, I will continue to travel this country and fight for those Americans who refuse to settle for the way things are and a status quo that no longer works for them," said Fiorina in a statement.

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.

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