Emily Wendler

StateImpact Oklahoma

Emily Wendler joined KOSU in February 2015, following graduate school at the University of Montana.

While studying Environmental Science and Natural Resource Journalism with an emphasis on agriculture, a professor introduced her to radio and she fell in love.

The Cincinnati native has since reported for KBGA, University of Montana’s college radio station, and Montana’s PBS Newsbrief. She was a finalist in a national in-depth radio reporting competition for an investigatory piece she produced on campus rape. She also produced in-depth reports on wind energy and local food for Montana Public Radio.

She is very excited to be working in Oklahoma City, and you can hear her work on all things from education to agriculture right here on KOSU.

Ways to Connect

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

In the first public press conference since talk of a statewide teacher walkout began, the largest Oklahoma teachers union laid out their demands for the state legislature.

The demands include:

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Many Oklahoma educators are fed up with state lawmakers who have promised teacher pay raises for years but have failed to actually deliver. At their wits end, these teachers are now planning to walk out of their classrooms to push legislators to act.

The Superintendent of Bartlesville Public Schools, Chuck McCauley, says the idea for the walkout started in his district in September. Staff that participated in the last Oklahoma teacher strike in 1990 proposed revisiting the tactic at a school board meeting.

Emily Wendler / KOSU

Updated: March 7 at 9:49 p.m.

There’s been a lot of chatter on social media about when a statewide teacher walkout might take place.

On Wednesday, the president of the Oklahoma Education Association—Alicia Priest— revealed the union’s official plan. She said in a Facebook video that lawmakers have until April 1st to pass a budget.

LORIE SHAULL / FLICKR/CC BY-SA 2.0

Oklahoma lawmakers enacted legislation in 2015 that lets school employees, including teachers, carry guns on campus. Okay Public Schools, near Tahlequah, appears to be the only district in the state that uses the law to arm its staff.

Superintendent Pete Hiseley did not work for the district in 2015 when the Okay Public School Board agreed to let school employees carrying guns.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

When President Donald Trump ordered an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program last September, he put 700,000 immigrants’ futures in jeopardy.

The Obama-era policy, also known as DACA, protects young people who were brought to America by their parents — many illegally — from deportation.

TULSA HISTORICAL SOCIETY AND MUSEUM

The Tulsa Race Riots lasted two days. Thirty-five blocks of black neighborhoods were destroyed and at least 39 people died. Historians now agree it was among the worst episodes of racial violence in U.S. History.

However, State Senator Kevin Matthews, D-Tulsa, says many Oklahoma teachers often brush over the topic, or teach it incorrectly. He hopes a new Tulsa Race Riot curriculum can change that.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Updated Tuesday at 8:37 a.m.

A bill to raise revenue for the Step Up Oklahoma plan failed to get enough votes to pass the House yesterday. The measure received only 63 of the 76 yes votes needed for passage.

During debate, House Speaker Charles McCall admitted the bill wasn’t perfect, but it would fix the issues with the budget.

"A $5,000 teacher pay raise, certainty with our health care, funding for our infrastructure ― these are clearly things that the people of the state of Oklahoma sent us to this chamber to take care of on their behalf."

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Governor Mary Fallin urged lawmakers to find compromise and steer clear of budgetary and legislative chaos in her final State of the State address at the Oklahoma capitol on Monday. The speech laid out a number of Fallin's priorities for the legislative session.

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.

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