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Today In The News
Nearly one-third of Oklahoma school districts now on a four-day school week: About a month into the school year, the jury is still out regarding a move to a four-day week at two area districts that made the change this year. Although leaders at Wagoner and Catoosa school districts say the transition to the new schedule has been smooth, they agree that it is too early to tell what total savings will be and whether academics will be affected [Tulsa World]. Four-day school weeks could leave thousands of Oklahoma kids hungry [OK Policy].
Opponent says education tax proposal aims to return Oklahoma to its ‘Dark Ages’: An opponent of State Question 779 threw another chip on the table Friday. Jonathan Small of the Oklahoma Council on Public Affairs told a local Republican gathering the 1 percent education sales-tax proposal is a political ploy calculated to give the state’s GOP leadership a “black eye” and send the state “back to the Dark Ages of Oklahoma.” State Senator Brian Crain (R-Tulsa) disagreed with Small, saying the tax proposal is the only practical solution to a “crisis” in school funding [Tulsa World]. See OK Policy’s guide to SQ 779 and Oklahoma’s other 2016 state questions here.
Office of Juvenile Affairs hopes to reverse decline in budget: The Board of Juvenile Affairs approved a request Friday to ask the Oklahoma Legislature to increase the agency’s budget in hopes of reversing a gradual funding reduction over the last several years. The Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs budget for the current fiscal year is $92 million, significantly lower than the $112 million the agency received in the 2010 fiscal year. Executive Director Steve Buck told the board that for the department to provide youthful offenders in the state with adequate education and treatment to avoid a life of crime in adulthood, an increase in its budget will need to happen [NewsOK].
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