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.
A new report ranks Oklahoma 5th worst in the US among states in the percentage of children under age 18 who are homeless, with a 43,643 children experiencing homelessness in 2012-2013. The report is available here. On the OK Policy Blog, we explained why a two-generation approach that reaches parents as well as children is essential if we want to help children in poverty. The monitors overseeing the implementation of Oklahoma’s plan to improve the well-being of foster children have issued a written statement warning the state is failing to make good-faith efforts in instituting reforms.
Two Tulsa first-grade teachers say they’re refusing to subject their students to more tests or surveys, but TPS Superintendent Keith Ballard has issued a letter responding that opting out of tests is not an option. An Oklahoma City police officer accused of sexually assaulting 13 women will likely stand trial. Rep. John Bennet (R-Sallisaw) is pushing for the US to designate CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations) a terrorist group after the United Arab Emirates added the group to their terrorist list over the weekend. The Stat Department rejected Rep. Bennet’s suggestion and say they’re asking the UAE to justify their reasoning. State Attorney General Scott Pruitt issued an opinion concluding that the Legislature acted illegally when it diverted $5 million from an uncompensated care fund to balance the budget.
OK Policy has released our updated and improved CountySTATS 2014, a tool for learning about Oklahoma’s counties and residents covering demographics, the economy, education and health. State higher education leaders met Wednesday to discuss their FY 2016 goals – namely, a $1.086 billion budget request and how to convince the legislature to fund it. State Sen. Brian Crain (R-Tulsa) says he plans to propose two $2.5 billion bond issues for common and higher education. A deal struck between the city of Tulsa and the county regarding the Tulsa Jail could cost the city up to $700,000. The Tulsa World praised both parties for compromising on the issue instead of litigating.
The Oklahoman’s Editorial Board took issue with the predictions made by Dr. Lawrence Jacobs regarding the future of health reform in America. At an event sponsored by OK Policy and the Scholars Strategy Network, Dr. Jacobs predicted that as more people gained coverage under the Affordable care Act, opposition to the law would eventually fade. Slides, audio and media coverage of Dr. Jacobs’ talk can be found here. In his Journal Record column, Executive Director David Blatt argued that while the ACA’s future may be bumpy, it’s not a dead end.
Oklahoma Watch wrote about what consumers should know now that open enrollment is underway. A Q&A is available here. Amid the media coverage of the Keystone XL group in the Senate, the International Business Times discussed the quieter conflict over the section of the pipeline already constructed in Oklahoma and Texas. At a three-day workshop hosted by the Oklahoma and US Geological Surveys, experts met to discuss how “non-tectonic” earthquakes (that is, earthquakes triggered by disposal wells or fracturing) should be accounted for on national seismic hazard maps, which are used by construction and insurance agencies and public safety planners. The Number of the Day is the number of LGBT students in Oklahoma who reported being physically assaulted in the last year due to their sexual orientation, the 3rd highest percentage in the US. In today’s Policy Note, the New York Times praised schools implementing free classroom breakfasts.
continue reading In The Know: Oklahoma ranks 5th in US for child homelessness