In 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 the $70 million Oklahoma has spent on a program to teach relationship skills and promote marriage has not stopped divorce rates from rising. The OK Policy Blog previously shared a series of posts examining whether the state should be promoting marriage. A research fellow working for the state Department of Education claimed that research criticizing the state’s A-F Grading System used an unrepresentative sample of testing data.
Responding to a supposed new national fad called the “knockout game,” state Representative Bobby Cleveland called for requiring juveniles charged with unprovoked battery to be tried as an adult with a 10-year minimum sentence. ThinkProgress explained why the “knockout game” trend is a media-fueled panic based on no real data. An Oklahoma jury convicted a police captain of first-degree manslaughter in the death of an unarmed teenager who was running away after scuffling with the officer. The Tulsa World writes that Oklahoma’s plan to move 1,000 offenders to private prisons is a short-sighted move that could have been avoided.
Even though Gov. Mary Fallin remains locked in two separate legal battles over her office’s refusal to release documents, her top lawyer insists Fallin’s administration is the most transparent Oklahoma has ever seen. New Mexico Governor Susan Martinez is trying to recruit Oklahoma nurse practitioners to her state, where they have more freedom to practice medicine without paying subsidies to physicians. With an already growing collection of exhibit materials, supporters of a popular culture museum to be built in Tulsa will again seek legislative appropriations.
House Speaker TW Shannon’s plan to build chapel inside the statehouse is raising constitutional questions after Shannon said the chapel would commemorate the state’s “Judeo-Christian heritage.” The OK Policy Blog discussed how inadequate pay and benefits keep Oklahoma retail workers on precarious financial footing, regardless of how hard or how much they work. The Number of the Day is the share of retail employees earning at least half of their family’s total income. The New York Times reported on how older workers are increasingly entering the fast-food industry and facing extreme pressures to make a living on minimum wage.
continue reading In The Know: Oklahoma marriage initiative fails to stop rising divorce rates