Economy, Energy, Natural Resources: Policy to People

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Some Shelterless Oklahoma Schools to Cancel Class When Tornados Threaten

Father Jesse Crew says he'd prefer schools install storm shelters instead of shutting down for "tornado days" during severe weather.

Of the many ideas for changes to state policy following May’s deadly tornado outbreak — changing building codes to make public structures safer, requiring shelters in new school buildings, providing money to upgrade schools without shelters — the one that has the best chance of actually happening is ‘tornado days.’ Local superintendents don’t need any [...]

Tax Break for Big Corporations Could Mean Even Less Money for Oklahoma Schools

Michelle Gentry stands outside her 3rd grade classroom at Madison Elementary School in Norman, Okla.

State Question 766 passed in November 2012, and eliminated the tax on intangible property:  business licenses, trade secrets, company logos, things with value beyond their physical traits. Before the election, the state Tax Commission estimated 766 would mean revenue losses of around $30 million for Oklahoma public schools. Five months later, a new estimate predicts [...]

Poll: Oklahoma Voters Are Concerned About School Funding

Oklahoma Classroom

A candidate’s position on public school funding will be an important consideration among Oklahomans voting for state legislators in November, according to a new SoonerPoll of 495 likely voters. From the Tulsa World‘s Randy Krehbiel: Almost two-thirds of Oklahomans say they are very concerned about the funding of their local public schools, and more than [...]

More Faculty at State Colleges? Maybe Just More Adjuncts

University Professor

Faculty growth has outpaced student enrollment at Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities over the last 15 years, The Oklahoman reports. But faculty doesn’t necessarily mean tenured professors, and some of the observed growth could be an increase in adjunct faculty — untenured, temporary, cheaper instructors.

OK Master’s Degrees: Teachers are Tops

Source: State Regents for Higher Education

State-funded colleges are awarding lots of degrees in business and medicine and certificates in family and consumer sciences. Oklahoma universities are training a lot of teachers, too.

Diagnosis: Most State Professional Degrees are in Medicine

First Professional Degrees

In Oklahoma, most first professional degrees granted by state colleges and universities are in the medical field. This state trains a lot of pharmacists: 200 in 2008-2009, while medical doctors and future lawyers are just about tied for the No. 2 slot, the most recent data from the state Regents for Higher Education show.

OK Students are Certifiable, Mostly in Family and Consumer Sciences


Education has a major impact on employment, but the benefits aren’t limited to college diplomas. Certificate programs are short, specialized and affordable. And thanks to the recession, they’re more popular than ever. Oklahoma tech schools and community colleges awarded 586 certificates last year, state data show. Almost three-quarters of those certificates were in family, consumer [...]

Half of Oklahoma Bachelor’s Grew Out of Five Fields

Employment usually parallels education, and state education officials have made boosting college completion their No. 1 mission. Higher education officials want to add more than 20,000 degrees and certificates over the next 12 years. Moving forward, it’s important to know where Oklahoma currently is. Five fields of study account for about half of all four-year [...]

Roadshow Comments: ‘It Feels Like a Broken Promise’

State Sen. Tom Adelson, D-Tulsa, speaks with an audience member after paneling a state budget town-hall forum in Tulsa.

We kicked off our three-city roadshow on the state budget last night, and the Tulsa event couldn’t have gone better. The two lawmakers on our panel — state Sen. Tom Adelson, D-Tulsa, and Rep. Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville — talked about their priorities for the upcoming legislative session and highlighted the budget-related topics most likely to [...]

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