In The Know: Ed Board declines to revisit HB1775 school sanctions | New anti-abortion law takes effect | More

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Some stories included here are behind paywall or require subscription. OK Policy encourages the support of Oklahoma’s state and local media, which are vital to an informed citizenry. Subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

New from OK Policy

Column: Oklahoma could stop failing its children, if leaders would start investing in them: With children back in school this month, the quality of education is likely on many family’s minds. Improving educational outcomes will take a commitment from decision makers to invest in our public schools. But student success doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Improving child well-being also requires investing in the supports that surround families and their children. Without dealing with these foundational issues, it will be significantly harder for students to stay on track and thrive in school and beyond. [Gabrielle Jacobi / Tulsa World]

Oklahoma News

State Board of Education denies HB 1775 accreditation challenges from TPS, Mustang: The Oklahoma State Board of Education rejected requests Thursday morning to revisit the accreditation status of two districts it had penalized over allegations that they violated a state law that limits classroom discussion on race and gender. [Tulsa World]‘

  • Extremely disappointed’: State board doubles down on Tulsa, Mustang districts [NonDoc]
  • Education Board Upholds Sanctions on Tulsa, Mustang for Conversations on Race [Oklahoma Watch]
  • Tulsa, Mustang penalties upheld as state board of education refuses to reconsider HB 1775 vote [The Oklahoman]

Another anti-abortion law goes into effect in Oklahoma. Here’s what’s changing: Another anti-abortion law takes effect Friday in Oklahoma, allowing for harsher penalties for abortion providers. Senate Bill 612, signed by the governor in April, classifies abortion as a felony. Medical providers who perform the procedure could face up to 10 years in prison or fines of up to $100,000. [The Oklahoman]

  • New Oklahoma laws: Stricter anti-abortion rules, marijuana business moratorium take effect [The Oklahoman]

As small towns struggle to pay off winter storm debt, Oklahoma taxpayers will pick up part of the tab: After the storm, the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office said it would investigate natural gas price gouging. A year and a half later, no criminal or civil cases have been filed and there’s no active state investigation. [The Frontier]

State Government News

Oklahoma appellate court clarifies challenged anti-riot laws: Two state anti-riot laws enacted following 2020 civil rights demonstrations in Tulsa apply only to individuals found guilty of participating in a riot while obstructing vehicular traffic and to organizations found to conspire with people who violate anti-riot laws, a state appellate court ruled Thursday. [Tulsa World]

Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs Office, Governor dispute purchasing powers: The Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs and the Oklahoma Governor’s Office are disputing the legality of an executive order. It involves agencies getting signed approval for purchases, but the state VA’s executive director is saying his agency shouldn’t have oversight from the governor. [KFOR]

Voting and Election News

SQ 820 group asks state Supreme Court to put marijuana vote on November ballot: Proponents are asking the Oklahoma Supreme Court to expedite approval of the ballot title so the State Election Board can print SQ 820 ballots for November’s general election. A hearing before the court is set for 10:30 a.m. Friday. [NonDoc]

Campaign manager sues challenger in labor commissioner’s race: Fount Holland, a campaign consultant who is representing the state labor commissioner in her reelection bid, has filed a lawsuit against her challenger for slander following a Republican primary election that turned contentious. [The Oklahoman]

GOP contender for Oklahoma’s only open congressional seat says he would vote ‘no’ on most bills: If elected, Josh Brecheen says he won’t hesitate to buck party leadership to vote how he sees fit. [The Frontier]

Criminal Justice News

Oklahoma execution: James Coddington gets lethal injection for fatal beating 25 years ago: Oklahoma on Thursday carried out the execution of convicted murderer James Coddington, who forgave Gov. Kevin Stitt with his final words but made no further expressions of remorse. [The Oklahoman]

The next Oklahoma death row inmates scheduled for execution: The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals set 25 execution dates for convicted murderers who have exhausted appeals of their convictions and sentences. [The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma City man arrested in deputy’s death was heavily armed, records show: An Oklahoma City man arrested Monday following a deadly confrontation with sheriff’s deputies kept several weapons inside the home where he lived with his mother, court documents show. [The Oklahoman]

Education News

School restroom law gets State Board of Education rules for implementation: The Oklahoma State Board of Education has adopted temporary due process rules for schools found to be possibly out of compliance with new gender-based school restroom restrictions. [Tulsa World]

Column: Censorship overreach becoming a big problem: So, a Norman teacher has resigned due to the controversy surrounding her decision to post a QR code to the Brooklyn Library Books Unbanned in her classroom, which provides free e-books to titles that are restricted, including many on the list Oklahoma school libraries are being asked to pull. House Bill 1775 is making school districts very afraid and is producing a chilling environment among Oklahoma schools and teachers. [Cindy Allen Column / Enid News and Eagle

General News

Study: Appraisal bias is modern-day redlining: It may be surprising is the significant influence race and ethnicity still have today on who buys a house and what it’s worth. The federal task force on Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (PAVE) reports in 2021 the Black homeownership rate reached 44%, while the white homeownership rate was 74%. [Journal Record]

Oklahoma Local News

  • State Superintendent candidate makes stop in Muskogee [Muskogee Phoenix]
  • Incoming Freshmen Participate In Program For Students To Prepare For Life After School [NewsOn6]

Quote of the Day

“I don’t want the teachers to be scared to teach my daughter about being a good person. I want them to be able to teach ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ so that we can all hold this complicated history that we have and move forward together as a community. It’s not a community if we can’t all hear each other out, hold each other’s truths and try to move forward together.”

-Tulsa parent Ashley Daly speaking at an Oklahoma State Board of Education meeting where the board was asked to reconsider penalizing Tulsa and Mustang schools over allegations that they violated HB 1775, a state law that limits classroom discussion on race and gender. [Tulsa World]

Number of the Day


The year Oklahoma voters approved State Question 97 that created a constitutional right for women’s voting rights in all elections, two years before the 19th Amendment was ratified. However, women were unable to hold state executive office until 1942, and Black women didn’t get full voting rights until 1965. [Oklahoma Historical Society]

Policy Note

The 19th Amendment at 100 (2020): The 19th Amend­ment was revolu­tion­ary, and it dramat­ic­ally altered the shape of our elect­or­ate. But its legacy, and its history, have been myth­o­lo­gized and obfus­cated. For one, the 19th Amend­ment, like so many parts of our Consti­tu­tion, initially failed to live up to its prom­ise. Despite the amend­ment’s rati­fic­a­tion in 1920, it took decades of further work and addi­tional legis­la­tion for the nation’s women of color, espe­cially Black, Native Amer­ican, and Asian-Amer­ican women, to gain access to the ballot. [Brennan Center for Justice]

NOTE: Today (Aug. 26) marks the 102nd anniversary of the formal certification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote.   

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Hana Saad joined OK Policy in August 2022 as the Communications and Operations Fellow. She graduated from the University of Tulsa with degrees in Media Studies and English and is part of Phi Beta Kappa, an academic honor society. At TU, Hana regularly wrote for The Collegian and was the Co-Editor of the Stylus Journal of Art and Writing. She also serves on the team at Puppy Haven Rescue to help in their mission of saving rescue dogs across Oklahoma. Hana is eager to learn more about public policy in Oklahoma and use her skills to support the OKP work to build a more equitable state. In her free time, she loves to read fiction and poetry, walk her dog, and make copious cups of tea.

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