Economy, Energy, Natural Resources: Policy to People

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As Cities in Oklahoma Woo Innovative Industries, Researchers Say Schools Are a Weak Link

General Electric's new Oil and Gas Technology Center in Oklahoma City.

A new report from the Brookings Institution says Oklahoma City is positioned for growth. It says the city has a solid layer of infrastructure essential for development — and diversifying the economy. But there’s a threat to this development, and that’s a potentially weak workforce. Some researchers say local officials need to ensure schools provide [...]

Oil’s Pipeline to America’s Schools

Illustration by Eben McCue

Jennifer Merritt’s first-graders at Jefferson Elementary School in Pryor, Oklahoma, were in for a treat. Sitting cross-legged on the floor, the students gathered in late November for story time with two special guests, state Rep. Tom Gann and state Sen. Marty Quinn.

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.

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