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In The News
New Tax Revenue That May Never Be Collected Certified by State Board: The Oklahoma Board of Equalization on Monday certified nearly $461 million in new revenue that may never be collected if an effort succeeds to repeal the tax bill passed in March. The board, composed of Gov. Mary Fallin and other elected officials, met to make an official adjustment to estimated revenue for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The adjustment was needed to include the estimated revenue from increases to taxes on cigarettes, motor fuels and some oil and gas production [NewsOK]. Tulsa Superintendent Deborah Gist said the district has no alternative but stipends if it’s going to pay the raise and doing otherwise could potentially bankrupt the district [Tulsa World]. What we know – and don’t know – about the revenue bill veto challenge [OKPolicy].
Oklahoma City schools reduce suspensions, but black student rate remains high: Over the past few years, Oklahoma City schools have significantly reduced the number of students it suspends each year. However, the disproportionate suspension rate of black students remains high. Oklahoma City Public Schools issued 40 percent fewer suspensions during the 2016-17 school year, compared to four years earlier. But of the 3,382 students suspended during the 2016-17 school year, 44 percent were black, despite the fact that black students make up just 24 percent of district enrollment [NewsOK]. Overuse of suspensions can seriously harm kids’ educational futures [OKPolicy].
Accepting Our Highest-In-The-World Incarceration Rate Means Believing That Oklahomans Are the Worst People: We knew the day would come when Oklahoma surpassed Louisiana as the highest-incarcerating state in the highest-incarcerating country in the world. After Louisiana’s legislature passed a sweeping criminal justice reform package in 2017, Oklahoma Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh said that he “expect[s] Oklahoma’s incarceration rate to eventually be the country’s highest.” As it turns out, Oklahoma has had the highest incarceration rate in the world since the end of 2016; we just didn’t know it because federal statistics are released on a year-long lag [OKPolicy].
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