Recent Articles

School support personnel play vital role, should receive pay during closure

Support staff serve as the backbone of schools, and their responsibility to keep schools safe and clean have become even more critical amidst the coronavirus outbreak. We call on lawmakers and the State Department of Education to continue working together to ensure Oklahoma school support employees are paid during school closures. [More...]

Providing food security for Oklahoma students who might otherwise go without meals

In response to this need, OSDE received approval for waivers to allow schools to provide “grab and go” meals at no cost to low-income students who qualify for free and reduced-priced lunch through the Summer Food Service Program. [More...]

Child care plays pivotal role during health crisis

By staying open, child care centers make it possible for those workers with children to carry out these important roles. Below are some policy measures that can support keeping child care centers open during the COVID-19 health emergency. [More...]

House bill to change the pre-K cut off date would be a step backward for children

The proposed change could be harmful to low-income children who benefit from early childhood education. Moving the pre-K cutoff date would remove parental control over when to send their children to school and give parents less access to early childhood education. HB 2908 is counter to evidence-based practices that work for children.  [More...]

Black and Latino children in Oklahoma are still more likely to live in concentrated poverty

A new KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot shows that many children in Oklahoma live in high-poverty communities that often lack these vital necessities. In Oklahoma, Black and Latino children are more than four times as likely to live in areas of concentrated poverty (census tracts where 30 percent or more of the population lives in poverty). [More...]

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...]