Recent Articles

Federal funding increases are making quality child care more affordable for Oklahoma families

A new report from Oklahoma Policy Institute finds that new federal grant funding is making affordable child care a reality for more Oklahomans. [More...]

Expansion in Federal Funding is Improving Access and Quality in Oklahoma’s Child Care Subsidy Program

In fiscal year 2019, Oklahoma’s child care subsidy program operated by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) received a $32 million increase in federal funding, which represents a 36 percent increase from the previous year. With Oklahoma continuing its state commitment to the subsidy program, OKDHS was able to significantly improve provider rates, invest in training for providers, and reduce costs and expand eligibility for Oklahoma families. [More...]

End of Session Education Round-Up: Steady steps forward

Image Credit: US Department of Education / Flickr While the 2019 legislative session was not as attention-grabbing as last year, public education still claimed a number of victories this session. [More...]

Increased federal funding gives child subsidy a much-needed boost

Parents who seek child care for infants and toddlers face a common conundrum. Without child care parents cannot work, yet many working families cannot afford the costly child care they need to maintain employment. This is why helping families who earn low-incomes get access to quality child care is so important. [More...]

Changes to scholarship tax credit bill would divert even more dollars from public education

While intended to address concerns with the original version, the latest changes to the scholarship tax credit legislation are even more harmful. In addition to diverting more tax dollars away from public services, the revisions also dilute the fiscal impact of donations to public school foundations and create unfair advantages for some nonprofits. [More...]

Virtual charter schools are a cause for concern. These bills could help.

Skyrocketing student growth over the past seven years means that virtual charter schools receive a growing share of state funding, and concerns center around how these public dollars are used and their impact on student outcomes.  [More...]

Investing in Oklahoma higher education yields strong returns

By 2020, 67 percent of all jobs created in Oklahoma will require some college, a certificate or a college degree. Legislators would be wise to invest some of this year's growth revenue back into higher education so our economy can continue to thrive for years to come. [More...]

Education Scholarship Tax Credits

In 2011, the Legislature passed The Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship Act, which authorized the creation of scholarship granting organizations (SGOs) and educational improvement grant organizations (EIGOs). SGOs issue scholarships for students who meet certain requirements to attend private schools, and EIGOs issue grants to public schools. [More...]

Report: Despite gains from teacher walkout, Oklahoma school funding is still way down

For the past five years Oklahoma has led the nation for the largest per-pupil cuts to education funding since the Great Recession, according to an annual report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). This year's report, released today, finds that Oklahoma has finally moved out of the bottom spot in per pupil formula funding cuts thanks to last year’s teacher pay raise funded by the Legislature on the eve of the statewide teacher walkout. However, despite these gains, Oklahoma remains well below pre-Recession levels in per-pupil funding and still has cut more than any state other than Texas. [More...]

The School Counselor Corps would be a lifeline for students. Ask the Legislature to fund it

Oklahoma schools desperately need more school counselors. Oklahoma has 435 students for every counselor, nearly double the recommended ratio of 250 students per counselor. To help address this problem, the State Department of Education has asked the Legislature for $58 million dollars to fund a School Counselor Corps, which would allow districts to hire additional school counselors and licensed therapists. Both types of professionals are critical. Children in Oklahoma experience trauma at higher rates than their peers in most other states. This trauma can lead to academic struggles along with a host of negative mental and physical health outcomes. Providing students proper supports is the key to counteracting these realities.  [More...]