[In The Know] Lawmaker calls for teacher retention bonuses | Sports gambling in Oklahoma? | Oklahoma’s children deserve better

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: Oklahoma’s children deserve better: Oklahoma can – and should – be doing more to help children thrive and prepare them for future success. I have seen our state’s shortcomings while raising my three children here, as have my friends and acquaintances who struggle to ensure their children have appropriate resources to succeed. These needs are borne out by cold, hard facts showing that far too many Oklahoma children lack resources and essential supports. [Shiloh Kantz / Journal Record] OK Policy: 2022 KIDS COUNT Report Shows Oklahoma Ranks 40th for Child Well-Being, Still Lags Nation

Oklahoma News

House education budget chairman calls for federal dollars to be used on teacher relocation, retention bonuses: The House education budget chairman is calling for federal funds allocated to Oklahoma for pandemic relief in public education to be used immediately on teacher relocation and retention bonuses. [Tulsa World]

  • Oklahoma lawmaker suggests teacher bonuses to address shortage [Lawton Constitution]
  • State of Our Schools superintendent roundtable (video) [KOCO]

‘We’re not going anywhere.’ Oklahoma’s tribal gaming keeps growing, but what’s next?: Oklahoma’s tribal gaming industry charted significant growth for the second straight year, shaking off pandemic shutdowns and drawing more tourists across state borders to bet. But as neighboring states adopt other types of gambling, how do Oklahoma operations continue to grow? [The Oklahoman]

  • As legalized sports betting elsewhere keeps up exponential growth, its future in Oklahoma is unknown [Tulsa World]

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt hits media for fueling ‘distrust’, rejects its abortion coverage: Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, R., knocked the liberal media for fueling “distrust” among Americans, particularly over its recent coverage of the abortion debate. [Fox News]

State Government News

Gov. Kevin Stitt rides horseback, signs bill naming American Quarter Horse official state horse (video): Gov. Kevin Stitt rode to the Oklahoma state Capitol on horseback before signing a bill making the American Quarter Horse the state’s official horse. [The Oklahoman]

GRF collections show strong start for FY 2023: General Revenue Fund collections in July totaled $643.9 million, which is $94.8 million, or 17.3%, above the monthly estimate. This is $82.4 million, or 14.7%, above collections in July 2021. [Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services]

Voting and Election News

State senator opens up about abusive relationship following domestic violence allegations against Rep. Sean Roberts: An Oklahoma state senator is sharing what they faced during an abusive relationship in college following calls for Rep. Sean Roberts to drop out of the state’s race for labor commissioner. [Public Radio Tulsa]

U.S. Senate runoff: Markwayne Mullin campaign reports major fundraising haul: U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin raised more than $162,000 for his Senate campaign in just the first two days of this week, tapping Oklahoma business executives, the president of the University of Oklahoma and political action committees. [The Oklahoman]

Criminal Justice News

Women’s Prisons Are Filled With Domestic Violence Survivors. A New Type of Law Could Help Them Get Out: Advocates are lobbying Oklahoma lawmakers to draft and pass a bill that would let courts resentence certain survivors of abuse—specifically, ones whose crimes were related to the domestic violence they experienced. [Mother Jones]

Education News

Texas students help make up for enrollment losses at Oklahoma colleges: Almost 13,000 Texas residents were enrolled in Oklahoma colleges last year and 7,100 enrolled at the University of Arkansas alone. And as the total number of students enrolled in Oklahoma‘s higher ed institutions has declined each year during the pandemic, the number of Texans has actually increased. [StateImpact Oklahoma]

How Oklahoma schools are advised to deal with the coronavirus: It’s year three of the COVID-19 pandemic, so precautions in schools look familiar. Oklahoma state law says mask mandates aren’t allowed, so don’t expect any of those. But, State Department of Health guidance continues to call on people to stay home if they’re sick and wash their hands often. [StateImpact Oklahoma via KGOU]

Local schools undergo active shooter training as Tulsa County students return to classroom: Tulsa County deputies spent Monday at Keystone Public Schools in Sand Springs educating students and teachers on how to respond to active shooting situations. After the recent tragedies in Uvalde and at Tulsa’s Saint Francis hospital complex, officials say this is the most important training the agency can provide. [Public Radio Tulsa]

  • School Security A Top Priority For Districts Preparing For The Start Of The Year [News 9]

Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission approves record number of education grants for aviation: Fifty-six Oklahoma schools and programs are getting thousands of dollars to help pay for their STEM curriculum that focuses on aeronautics and aviation. [KJRH]

Bond question could include workforce development at OKC high schools: A resolution calling for a bond election for Oklahoma City Public Schools includes the construction of a workforce development facility at every high school campus. [Journal Record]

Illuminate Education Removed From Ed-Tech Privacy Pact Following Data Breach: A cyberattack on Illuminate Education, which provides integrated K–12 technology systems with tools for instruction, assessment, and data analytics, compromised the personal information of students at two of the nation’s two largest public school systems — New York City and Los Angeles. [EdWeek Market Brief] Parents of Oklahoma City Public Schools students were notified by email on May 13. [The Journal]

Quote of the Day

“We are here every single day for kids who don’t have parents, who don’t have a community, who … the only consistency they have is school. Those are the people that teachers show up for every single day. Those are the people that are being left out of this conversation. We are worried about the people who have, and we’re leaving out the people who have not. And that’s why we do what we do. That is why teachers do what they do… We have babies who every night they go somewhere different every day. They go somewhere different, and they show back up to do well. That’s why we do what we do. That’s why public schools are important. That’s why the dismantling of public schools is wrong because the people that lose out are brown, poor, and they don’t speak English.”

-Millwood Public Schools Superintendent Cecilia Robinson-Woods speaking at a State of Our Schools roundtable [KOCO]

Number of the Day

16 months

The amount of time that mothers had to work in order to make as much as fathers were paid in 12 months. This equates to 75 cents on the dollar. [National Women’s Law Center]

Policy Note

Why Supporting Working Moms Can Benefit Families, the Economy, and All of Us: Even prior to the pandemic, mothers earned less than fathers—by some estimates, only 75 cents for every dollar (PDF) fathers were paid—and had considerably less wealth. Moms were overrepresented in low-wage jobs and had less access to workplace benefits that help build wealth. Yet, if mothers were equitably included in the economy, we could all benefit. [St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank]

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David Hamby has more than 25 years of experience as an award-winning communicator, including overseeing communication programs for Oklahoma higher education institutions and other organizations. Before joining OK Policy, he was director of public relations for Rogers State University where he managed the school’s external communication programs and served as a member of the president’s leadership team. He served in a similar communications role for five years at the University of Tulsa. He also has worked in communications roles at Oklahoma State University and the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce in Arkansas. He joined OK Policy in October 2019.

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