In The Know: HB1775: ‘Modern-day Red Scare’ | Lawsuit filed over bathroom bill | Protections needed for Oklahoma renters

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

Policy Matters: More protections needed for Oklahoma renters: Safe and stable housing is one of the most essential sources of security to health and well-being. Yet for too many Oklahomans, this stability has been hard to achieve due to rising housing and rent costs, the pervasiveness of low-wage jobs, and the lack of affordable housing. Policy solutions – and the political will to implement them – can help Oklahoma families keep safe and secure rental housing. [Shiloh Kantz / Journal Record]

Oklahoma News

‘Modern-day Red Scare’: Norman teacher’s resignation the latest HB 1775 fallout: After districts in Tulsa and Mustang had their accreditation downgraded for violating HB 1775, a new law that bans the teaching of certain concepts about race and gender, Norman Public Schools teachers were told their district had a new policy for vetting classroom books in case “concerns were to arise.” [NonDoc]

Did Edmond and Bristow Public Schools ban any books? It depends on your definition: A list of banned books across the nation has sparked local attention thanks to the inclusion of two Oklahoma school districts and the claim that they have banned more than 40 books. [The Oklahoman]

School transgender bathroom bill draws legal challenge: A state law requiring students to use the restroom matching their biological sex has drawn a lawsuit. The suit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, based in Oklahoma City. Three students are plaintiffs. It alleges that transgender students face discriminatory treatment based on sex, gender identity or transgender status. [Tulsa World]

  • Oklahoma transgender bathroom law challenged in ACLU lawsuit [The Oklahoman]
  • Education Watch: Civil Rights Groups Challenge Oklahoma’s Transgender Bathroom Law [Oklahoma Watch]

Federal Government News

Can Biden’s climate bill actually help Oklahoma’s energy strategy? Here’s why it might: The Inflation Reduction Act signed by President Joe Biden last month is a complex set of wide-ranging policies that includes $81 million for Oklahoma to clean up 1,196 orphaned wells. The money will help support the state’s ongoing effort to clean up more than 17,000 well sites that have been abandoned. [The Oklahoman]

Economy & Business News

Construction No. 1 industry for suicide; OKC firm takes stand: More than 1 in 3 U.S. construction industry fatalities are the result of falling. Being struck by or crushed by equipment is the next deadliest risk. But suicide is a bigger killer than all the dangers at construction job sites. [Journal Record]

Education News

Smaller group of Sand Springs high school students stage second walkout; middle-schoolers also protest: Eight to 10 students walked out of classes at noon Wednesday to draw attention to what they say is the school district’s insufficient response to a pair of racially tinged incidents in the first two weeks of classes. [Tulsa World]

General News

Mexican Consulate in Oklahoma City Pushed to 2023: Citing a transition in consular leadership and an unconfirmed location, he said the tentative 2022 date for the opening of a Mexican consulate in Oklahoma City has been pushed back, leaving Mexican Oklahomans waiting for access to much-needed services like passport and voter-card renewals and the attainment of birth certificates and consular identification. [Oklahoma Watch]

Oklahoma Local News

  • Interstate 35 in Oklahoma City to shut down for resurfacing [The Oklahoman]
  • More than half of Nowata police officers resign [Tulsa World]

Quote of the Day

“The biggest issue that we’ve got going on here is the fact that districts are completely afraid of what’s coming down from the top. What happened at Mustang (Public Schools), what happened at Tulsa Public Schools has created this sense of fear, almost like a modern-day Red Scare for these districts [of] being the next to get questioning of their accreditation.”

– Rep. Jacob Rosecrants, D-Norman, speaking about the application of sanctions against two Oklahoma school districts for accusations of violating HB 1775, which restricts teaching certain concepts about race and gender. [NonDoc]

Number of the Day


Oklahoma is one of only six states without state laws that prohibit landlord retaliation for reporting health and safety violations about unsafe living conditions. 

Policy Note

One Year After Eviction Moratorium Ends, Renters Face Affordability Crisis: Eviction filings have returned to pre-pandemic levels and, in some places, even exceeded them. Although the job market has mostly rebounded from the early days of the pandemic, inflation and skyrocketing rent prices have pushed many renters deeper into a financial hole. The labor market is recovering, but around 15% of renters are behind on rent—a persistently high number. In the latest report, the median price for rent across the country jumped by 12.3% in July from July 2021 and was up by 23.2% from July 2020. [Forbes Advisor

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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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