Budget & Tax, Education
State Sen. Mary Boren has filed legislation to alter language in the Oklahoma Constitution that currently requires “a system of free public schools” so it instead requires maintenance of “an efficient and equitable system of free public schools."
State data on COVID-19 infections among K-12 students will reportedly include cases that occurred among children who never attended school in-person and conducted their learning entirely online this year.
State officials continue to inform lawmakers that large tax increases and teacher pay raises enacted in 2018 appear to have had relatively little impact on teacher shortages.
Budget & Tax, Higher Education
Last May, Gov. Kevin Stitt vetoed legislation authorizing $314.4 million in state debt to fund endowed chairs for college professors in Oklahoma, but members of the Legislature overrode Stitt’s veto.
Newly released data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that COVID-19 infections in areas with in-person instruction at K-12 schools are comparable to the rate in areas where students are limited to virtual options.
Budget & Tax, Good Government
More than six months after touting his leadership role in the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt remains silent on whether he agrees with that group’s support for potential reparation payments for slavery and racial discrimination, a proposal that could cost up to $6.2 quadrillion.
Fifty House Republican lawmakers have announced their support for resumed in-person instruction in all Oklahoma schools and Gov. Kevin Stitt’s plan to ease quarantine restrictions at schools.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister is maintaining her support for mass quarantining of Oklahoma students for COVID-19 exposure, even though schools across the state have reported such quarantines have largely proven unwarranted and create significant strain on schools.