All articles by Gene Perry

In The Know: Federal agreement will fund new Tulsa VA clinic

by and | July 29th, 2014 | Posted in Blog, In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.

Today you should know that a new 140,000-square-foot Veterans Administration outpatient clinic for Tulsa is part of a $17 billion spending agreement reached by Congress. Gov. Mary Fallin sent a letter to the White House complaining about a program at Fort Sill that is caring for unaccompanied migrant children from Central America. OK Policy previously debunked several myths that have been spread about these children. On the OK Policy Blog, we share explain the ABCs of Oklahoma’s Promise scholarships and why they are important for low- and middle-income Oklahomans. This year Oklahoma lawmakers attempted to divert funds from Oklahoma’s Promise to fill a budget hole, but they backed off after a public outcry and an Attorney General opinion that the transfer was illegal.

Beginning this semester, all Oklahoma State University students will have to complete an online course aimed at sexual-assault awareness and prevention. The Tulsa World discussed how the state is having trouble getting the process for developing new educational standards started. Oklahoma City Public School is preparing for an influx of more than 3,500 pre-K students — its largest pre-K enrollment ever. Tulsa Public Schools still needs to fill 120 open jobs before the school year begins in August.

The City of Claremore must pay $41,000 to cover attorney costs of plaintiffs who successfully sued to city to make Claremore police dashcam videos treated as open records. Oklahoma Watch discussed the role of low-interest federal loans in helping Oklahomans rebuild after a natural disaster. Voters have until Friday Aug. 1 to register to vote in the Aug. 26 Runoff Primary Election. Voter registration forms and ballot information can be downloaded here.

The Oklahoma City Council has developed new regulations for “transportation network companies” such as Uber and Lyft that use smartphone apps to connect drivers in their personal vehicles to individuals looking for rides. The regulations require drivers to pay for an annual permit and vehicle inspection, similar to rules covering taxis. The latest installment in Tulsa World Photographer Mike Simons’ series shares stories he came across walking all 16 miles of Peoria Ave. Rising heat poses extra dangers for Oklahoma’s homeless population, who have limited access to water and air-conditioned places to rest.

Free rain barrels are being offered to Jackson County residents at the Southwest Technology Center in Altus. The National Park Service has awarded historic preservation grants to four American Indian tribes in Oklahoma. The Number of the Day is the percentage of Oklahomans with “minimal fruit consumption.” In today’s Policy Note, CityLab examines a growing program that fast-tracks immigration visas for investors willing to put at least $500,000 into an at-risk area and create at least 10 full-time jobs.

continue reading In The Know: Federal agreement will fund new Tulsa VA clinic

In The Know: Arguments heat up in lawsuit over oil and gas tax rate

by and | July 28th, 2014 | Posted in Blog, In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.

Today you should know that a state Supreme Court referee will hear arguments this week on a lawsuit challenging changes to Oklahoma’s gross production taxes. Oklahoma State Treasurer Ken Miller said a trigger that could impose more income tax cuts in 2016 and 2018 doesn’t make economic sense. The state Attorney General’s Office says it gave “incorrect” advice related to the Open Meeting Act to members of the state Workers Compensation Commission, raising questions about whether the agency’s recent layoffs of 16 employees and other actions in past meetings are valid.

The Tulsa World examined how the violence fueling a surge in child refugees from Central America has been fueled by the U.S. drug trade. Two Lawton churches are partnering to provide weekly Catholic Masses for the migrant children being housed at Fort Sill. OK Policy previously debunked several of the myths that have emerged around those children. In the first episode of a new weekly OK Policy podcast, we discuss the children at Fort Sill, examine one of the largest business subsidies in Oklahoma, and more.

A recent graduate from Tulsa County drug court, which provides supervised substance abuse treatment as an alternative to incarceration, said the program saved his life. The Oklahoma Department of Corrections is expanding regional training academies to have fewer untrained officers working in state prisons. A spokesman for Gov. Fallin says the governor wants investigators looking into Oklahoma’s recent botched execution to consider problems that have occurred in other states such as Ohio and Arizona.

Food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters across Oklahoma are scrambling to meet demand for food from kids who can’t get the free and discounted meals offered when schools are in session. UCO Business Dean Mickey Hepner wrote in the Edmond Sun that Oklahoma’s cuts to the health care safety net could have been avoided by legislators. The OK Policy Blog previously shared how Oklahoma is hiking fees on the poorest and sickest citizens. An additional $210,000 from city council and a $20,000 donation will prevent planned fare hikes and service cuts to Tulsa Transit this year. The Tulsa World examined statistics on suicides in the Tulsa area, which have been nearly twice as common as homicides.

Five counties in Oklahoma are among the nation’s fastest-growing, according to a newly released compilation by the U.S. Census Bureau. The Oklahoma Supreme Court says Republican state Rep. Fred Jordan is eligible to run for Tulsa County’s district attorney, even though a raise for prosecutors was approved during his term in the Legislature. A group of Oklahomans are suing restaurants across the state, claiming it is illegal for them to not include liquor tax in the menu price for mixed drinks. After a record-breaking 63 people died of the flu in the 2013-14 flu season, Oklahoma health officials says they expect the same flu strains this season.

The Number of the Day is how many bushels of soybeans were produced by Oklahoma farmers in 2013. In today’s Policy Note, Vox reports that from the start of the health reform debate to when the law was passed, Congress never considered or debated over excluding federally-facilitated health exchanges from offering tax credits to purchase insurance, as lawsuits trying to block the tax credits are now claiming.

continue reading In The Know: Arguments heat up in lawsuit over oil and gas tax rate

The OK Policy Podcast: Episode 1

by | July 25th, 2014 | Posted in Blog, Podcast | Comments (0)

radio micHere’s the first episode of a new weekly podcast from OK Policy. This week, we share some of the most important Oklahoma headlines, bust some myths surrounding the migrant children at Fort Sill, and discuss one of the largest business subsidies in Oklahoma.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunesStitcher, or RSS. The podcast theme music is by Zébre.  

Click here to download the most recent episode or play it in your browser:

In The Know: Education board stalls process to create new standards

by and | July 24th, 2014 | Posted in Blog, In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or RSS. The podcast theme music is by Zébre.

The Oklahoma Board of Education voted to table a plan to develop new educational standards replace the Common Core standards. Some board members raised concerns that the process proposed by Superintendent Barresi was too complicated. Nearly half of the 1,128 Tulsa Public Schools third-graders who scored unsatisfactory on the state reading test in the spring have either qualified for exemptions or are being considered for probationary promotion to fourth grade. The Tulsa World praised Governor Fallin softening her position on making passing the third grade dependent on a high-stakes reading test.

Oklahoma schools are receiving a state aid increase of about $38 per student this year. Total state aid is still $172 million below what it was in 2008. Oklahoma’s Finance Secretary Preston Doerflinger wrote an op-ed in the Tulsa World on how off-the-top funding mandates have contributed to this year’s budget shortfall. OK Policy previously examined how these mandates caused the shortfall — along with growing tax refunds and oil and gas industry rebates. A new OK Policy report examines what’s behind the growing cost of the Quality Jobs program, one of the largest business subsidies in Oklahoma.

David Blatt’s Journal Record column discusses how term limits have affected legislative experience levels since they went into effect in 1992. We previously discussed on the OK Policy Blog how the data shows a more complicated story than the popular understanding of term limits.

The Oklahoma County district attorney’s office has initiated an investigation into possible Open Meeting Act violations by the new Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission. One commissioner said the group has had up to five “informational meetings” attended by a quorum of commissioners but not posted as public meetings. The Tulsa World expressed disappointment that sweeping workers compensation reforms were being implemented with “an unpleasant odor of secrecy.” An independent expenditure group that paid for television advertisements opposing State Superintendent Janet Barresi in last month’s primary has not filed any required spending reports with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission. U.S. Rep. James Lankford and state Rep. T.W. Shannon spent more than $4 million combined in the Republican race to replace U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, while two dark money groups added about $1.5 million.

AmeriCorps volunteers are working with Tulsa’s Southern Hills United Methodist Church on a program to improve literacy for at-risk kids. An event Aug. 16-17 at the Oklahoma City State Fair Park will provide free dental, vision and limited medical care to Oklahomans. Based on previous events, it is expected hundreds of Oklahomans will wait hours in line for care, with many turned away. University of Tulsa researchers have won a grant from the EPA to study methods to improve indoor air quality and reduce asthma triggers in tribal schools.

The Number of the Day is average teacher base salary for a teacher with a bachelor’s degree and ten years of teaching experience in Oklahoma. In today’s Policy Note, E.J. Dionne explains why a recent ruling by a D.C. Circuit federal court to disallow ACA health insurance subsidies is a serious distortion of the law for ideological purposes.

continue reading In The Know: Education board stalls process to create new standards

In The Know: Fallin rejects lawmaker’s call for ‘Catastrophic Health Emergency’ over migrant children

by and | July 23rd, 2014 | Posted in In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or RSS. The podcast theme music is by Zébre.

Today you should know that Governor Fallin rejected a call by Rep. Mike Ritze to declare a Catastrophic Health Emergency related to the immigrant children being held at Fort Sill. The OK Policy Blog debunked several myths that have emerged about these children. Tax credits that help 55,000 Oklahomans purchase insurance on the federal marketplace were thrown into question when separate federal appeals courts came down on opposite sides of the issue. OK Policy released a statement on the rulings. Oklahoma Watch shared a Q&A on how the rulings will affect Oklahomans.

Rep. Mike Shelton requested an Attorney General’s opinion on the constitutionality of legislation that diverted $5 million from a fund earmarked for trauma care assistance. Backers of school tornado shelters and legalized marijuana are quickly running out of time to place these issues before voters in November. About 600 of the 800 Tulsa third graders who failed a state reading test should soon learn how they did on a make-up test. The Tulsa World praised the efforts of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma to address huge problems of hunger in Oklahoma.

The Enid News & Eagle reported on OK Policy awarding our annual Good Sense/Good Cents award to former Governor Henry Bellmon. Creek County Rural Water District No. 2, which serves about 4,700 customers in south Tulsa, Jenks, Mounds, Glenpool and Sapulpa, has violated drinking water standards going back to 2012. Tulsa came in at number four on a list of cities with high rates of fatal DUI accidents.

The Number of the Day is the number of laboratory-confirmed cases of rabies in Oklahoma during 2013. In today’s Policy Note, the New Yorker examines how in some cases the “alternatives to incarceration” industry is profiting by sending Americans who can’t afford traffic fines into deeper debt.

continue reading In The Know: Fallin rejects lawmaker’s call for ‘Catastrophic Health Emergency’ over migrant children

In The Know: Fallin starts petition to close facility housing child immigrants

by and | July 22nd, 2014 | Posted in Blog, In The Know | Comments (1)

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or RSS. The podcast theme music is by Zébre.

Gov. Mary Fallin’s re-election campaign launched an online petition calling for the closure of the facility housing child immigrants at Fort Sill. The petition criticized President Obama for meeting the “transportation, education and health care of illegal immigrants, even as Washington ignores the very real needs of American citizens.” The American Mental Health Counselors Association estimates that 122,000 Oklahoma with mental health issues are being denied care because Governor Fallin has refused federal funding to expand Medicaid for Oklahomans. The Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs Executive Director said the agency is operating a dangerously low staffing levels due to state budget cuts.

Nearly 1 in 4 Oklahoma children live in poverty and the number of children living in high-poverty areas has more than doubled since 2000, according to a national study released Tuesday. Oklahoma City Public Schools is among 60 of the nation’s largest districts throwing their support behind a presidential initiative meant to ensure more students of color are succeeding academically. Two elementary schools in the Oklahoma City district are facing critical teacher shortages as the start of school draws near. Teachers say they repeal of Common Core Standards won’t greatly affect their teaching methods, but some expressed concern that tests will be less rigorous. The OK Policy Blog examined a new initiative that is seeking  to coordinate the thousands of people working to improve education in Tulsa.

NewsOK examined challenges faced by grandparents who are the primary caretakers of their grandchildren. Oklahoma Watch examined why Moore has not received federal storm damage prevention aid, even as other cities in Oklahoma at less risk for storms are receiving aid. Residents in north Tulsa are unsure where they will get affordable groceries after the impending closure of the area’s only grocery store.

The Number of the Day is the number of women in the Oklahoma legislature out of 149 legislators. In today’s Policy Note, Vox discusses the evidence that expanding Medicaid coverage has improved lifelong health by improving care for pregnant mothers.

continue reading In The Know: Fallin starts petition to close facility housing child immigrants

In The Know: Oklahoma’s ban on gay marriage ruled unconstitutional

by and | July 21st, 2014 | Posted in Blog, In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or RSS.. The podcast theme music is by Zébre.

A federal appeals court struck down Oklahoma’s same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional, though the ban remains pending an expected appeal of the decision. You can read the full decision here. Governor Fallin released a statement condemning the decision. A new poll by Rasmussen finds the Oklahoma governor’s race between Mary Fallin and Joe Dorman is within the margin of error. Dorman said Oklahoma should accept federal dollars to expand Medicaid program to cover low-income Oklahomans. The Tulsa World shared the colorful history of runoff elections in Oklahoma.

Speaking at the annual Oklahoma PTA conference, Gov. Fallin seemed to back off her position for relying on one high-stakes reading test to determine whether a third-grader should move on to fourth grade. Hundreds of Oklahoma City students are participating in a summer reading academy to try to pass the reading test before a new school year begins. The tiny Panola School District may close its doors after 102 years due to a budget shortfall. A Tulsa World op-ed discusses how Tulsa Community College is getting national recognition for a program that provides free tuition and fees for all Tulsa County students who graduate high school with at least a 2.0 grade point average.  The University of Oklahoma College of Education is offering a new program to forgive student debt for graduates who stay in Oklahoma and enter high-need teaching areas.

The Tulsa World reported that the state Workers Compensation Commission repeatedly discussed budget decisions in meetings that the public was not allowed to attend, a possible violation of the Open Meetings Act. Upcoming community meetings in Tulsa and Oklahoma will make a case for extending foster care to age 21. The Oklahoman editorial board argued that Oklahoma still has a long way to go on corrections reform. The Tulsa County Jail and Sheriff Stanley Glanz are facing multiple lawsuits alleging extreme neglect, abuse, and needless death of inmates.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has seen a significant increase in the number of applicants, which department officials attribute to a pay increase and reduced education requirements approved this legislative session. The Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs is cutting funding for Community Intervention Centers by about $610,000, which law enforcement officials said will take police officers off the streets to take care of juveniles in custody.

A consumer survey found Oklahomans have a better view of the economy than neighboring states Arkansas and Missouri, but all three states trail the national average. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 4.5% in June and is down a whole percentage point from this time last year. The 2014 Farm Bill is contributing $26.4 million in federal funds to assess and rehabilitate dams in Oklahoma. A study examining oil and gas wastewater wells in Oklahoma found that certain wells may be able to trigger earthquakes as far away as 21 miles. About 300 residents of Boise City in the Oklahoma Panhandle came to a town meeting to discuss a dozen members of a fundamentalist Mormon group settling in the town.

The Number of the Day is the number of beginning farmers in Oklahoma in 2012, down about 26 percent from 2002. In today’s Policy Note, Al Jazeera America looks at the growing criminalization of homelessness in American cities.

continue reading In The Know: Oklahoma’s ban on gay marriage ruled unconstitutional

In The Know: Fallin’s office says Barresi not being considered for secretary of education

by and | July 17th, 2014 | Posted in In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or RSS. The podcast theme music is by Zébre.

Download today’s In The Know podcast here or play it in your browser:

Today you should know that Governor Fallin’s office denied a rumor that the Governor is considering outgoing State Superintendent Janet Barresi for her Secretary of Education. A Jenks school administrator said the district is not scrambling to adopt a new set of standards after the repeal of Common Core, because they will continue using their own Continuum of Standards. David Blatt’s Journal Record column discussed how huge tax cuts in Kansas have opened a deep budget hole while not showing any signs of boosting the economy. On the OK Policy Blog, we look at the data to see whether term limits have actually changed how long legislators serve in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma prosecutors accused the Pardon and Parole Board of having an anti-victim and anti-district attorney bias, but they also appealed to legislative leaders and Governor Fallin to increase funding for the agency. Oklahoma City police said they continue to be overburdened with transporting psychiatric patients across the state because Oklahoma has not funded enough mental health beds. Oklahoma Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Colbert said that dozens of bills introduced in the state Legislature this year would have had a “lethal and devastating” effect on Oklahoma’s judiciary if enacted into law. 

State Rep. Fred Jordan asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court to get involved in the race for Tulsa County District Attorney. Another candidate for the DA position, Steve Kunzweiler, has challenge Rep. Jordan’s candidacy based on a constitutional ban on lawmakers being elected to any office in which the pay had been increased during the lawmaker’s term. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control said they continue to oppose a state question to legalize marijuana but are preparing for its possible passage.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said some state agencies are concerned about potential legal complications from unaccompanied children being housed at Fort Sill, in light of a state law banning the use of state money to provide services to people who enter the country illegally. Federal officials have previously said few if any of the children at Fort Sill will wind up in Oklahoma. Minors appearing in immigration courts without attorneys are deported 90 percent of the time while those with lawyers are removed at a rate of 54 percent, according to an analysis released Tuesday by a New York-based nonprofit. A group of TU law students have joined the “Immigration Rights Project” to help represent the children at Fort Sill.

The Number of the Day is how many Oklahoma high schools had a dropout rate above 40 percent for the Class of 2012. In today’s Policy Note, CNN Money discusses how the prosperity of the American middle class has fallen below Japan, Canada, Australia and much of Western Europe, even as a few very wealthy Americans skew the average wealth upwards.

continue reading In The Know: Fallin’s office says Barresi not being considered for secretary of education

In The Know: State Supreme Court upholds Common Core repeal

by and | July 16th, 2014 | Posted in Blog, In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or RSS. The podcast theme music is by Zébre.

Download today’s In The Know podcast here or play it in your browser:

Today you should know that only a few hours after hearing oral arguments, the Oklahoma Supreme Court upheld a bill repealing Common Core standards and giving legislators more influence over any new standards. Superintendent Janet Barresi asked parents and educators to apply to join committees that will develop new academic standards. Information about the committees and how to apply is available here. CareerTech Director Robert Sommers, who also serves as Governor Fallin’s secretary of education and workforce development, announced he will resign both positions August 15.

Oklahoma’s General Revenue Fund collections for the full Fiscal Year 2014 came in barely above prior year collections and 4.8 percent below the official estimate. With a critical shortage of judges for deportation hearings, all of Oklahoma’s hearings have been moved to Dallas. President Obama has put forward a plan to appoint additional judges, but it still needs Congressional approval. In a continuing series on federal and state disaster aid in Oklahoma, Oklahoma Watch examined how thousands of disaster aid requests end in rejection.

The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma just wrapped up the largest distribution year in its history. The food bank provided 17.3 million meals this year, a 20 percent increase over the previous year. The OK Policy Blog previously discussed a new school meals program that provides a more efficient way to feed kids in poverty. The Oklahoma City Jesus House’s Adopt-A-Block initiative is sending a group of people enrolled in the homeless shelter’s sobriety program into low-income communities to mow lawns, provide emergency food aid, and deliver box fans for people without air conditioning. The Oklahoma City Council voted to allow northeast Oklahoma City hospital to continue housing adult psychiatric patients, despite protests from residents who said they were afraid of people with mental illness.

Fifteen teachers from Spain will be joining Oklahoma City Public Schools this year under a memorandum of understanding with the country to bring guest teachers to Oklahoma. The volume of payday lending in the state and number of lenders has declined over the past two years after spiking in 2011. The OK Policy Blog previously shared stories of how payday loans impose very high costs on some of the poorest Oklahomans. RH Reality Check examined how the issue of health care access and Governor Fallin’s refusal to accept federal funds for Medicaid are affecting Oklahoma’s gubernatorial race.

The Cherokee Nation is constructing a new 28,000 square-foot health center in Washington County. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is reaching out to people who have completed a firearm safety training course but have not yet applied for a handgun license because time is running out on their certifications’ validity. The U.S. Geological Survey recorded three more earthquakes yesterday in Oklahoma, including one that shattered windows and put cracks in the wall of the Harrah police station.

The Number of the Day is how many journalists report full-time from the Oklahoma statehouse. In today’s Policy Note, the Washington Post reports on how 18 cities in Texas have passed rules to reign in some of the worst practices of payday lenders.

continue reading In The Know: State Supreme Court upholds Common Core repeal

In The Know: Oklahoma may reverse course on oil train shipment disclosures

by and | July 15th, 2014 | Posted in Blog, In The Know | Comments (0)

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or RSS. The podcast theme music is by Zébre.

Download today’s In The Know podcast here or play it in your browser:

Oklahoma officials are taking a second look at confidentiality agreements signed with railroads that prevent disclosure of information to the public about shipments of oil coming through the state. A new poll finds that Governor Fallin’s favorability with Oklahoma voters has fallen to 52 percent in early June, a 19-point drop from her high of 73 percent in September. The OK Policy Blog explained how despite Governor Fallin’s attempt to shift the blame to President Obama, the real reason behind state Medicaid cuts is Oklahoma leaders’ mismanagement of the state budget.

Authorities preparing for the renovation of Oklahoma’s state Capitol plan to authorize preliminary design work before millions of dollars in bond money becomes available. Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett are beginning a campaign for changes in state law to reduce cities’ reliance on sales taxes, a sometimes volatile revenue source that can pit city against suburb in battles over big-box retailers.  The Tulsa Regional Chamber released findings of a workforce analysis project with recommendations on improving job opportunities and skilled workers in Tulsa. You can find the full report here.

The Tulsa World reported that all of the immigrant children have been given vaccinations, and kids who test positive for communicable diseases have been quarantined in non-military facilities. A growing backlog of immigration cases has caused the average wait time for a hearing in an immigration court to exceed 1.5 years.

Oklahoma Watch continued a special report on how federal and state aid funds are helping to rebuild from damaging storms in Oklahoma. The latest stories look at who is receiving public disaster assistance and the recovery effort for Moore Schools. The Tulsa World editorial board discussed how Oklahoma’s decision to repeal Common Core standards is costing the state money and leaving teachers without clear guidance for the coming school year. The OK Policy Blog previously discussed how Common Core repeal could lead to more federal control of Oklahoma schools. The okeducationtruths blog discussed concerns about the non-profit Oklahoma Public School Resource Center’s (OPSRC) connections with groups pushing for controversial education reforms. The OK Policy Blog previously featured a guest post on services that the OPSRC is offering schools.

A student at Southwestern Christian University in Oklahoma City said she was expelled from the private college because she married her same-sex partner. Oklahoma City Public Schools is teaming with Oklahoma Caring Foundation and Oklahoma City County Health Department to offer mobile immunizations at selected schools through July 24. The Tulsa Port of Catoosa brought in its 75 millionth ton of cargo since opening 43 years ago. The Number of the Day is the total tonnage processed by the Port of Catoosa in 2013. In today’s Policy Note, Quartz looks at how companies like QuikTrip, the grocery store chain Trader Joe’s, and Costco Wholesale are proving that the decision to offer low wages is a choice, not an economic necessity.

continue reading In The Know: Oklahoma may reverse course on oil train shipment disclosures