In The Know: ‘Outdated’ school funding formula | Turnpike expansion engineering fees jump | Drought conditions remain

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.

Oklahoma News

Report: Proportion of funds for Oklahoma K-12 classrooms remains flat since 2010: A new report indicates the proportion of funding devoted to Oklahoma’s public school classrooms has remained relatively flat since 2010 despite back-to-back teacher pay raises in recent years. [The Oklahoman

  • LOFT: ‘Outdated’ School Funding Formula Leaves Bilingual, Economically-Disadvantaged Students Behind [News 9
  • LOFT suggests changes to education funding formula, OCAS reporting [NonDoc

State Government News

Engineering fees hit $132.8 million for ACCESS Oklahoma turnpike expansion plan: The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority on Tuesday approved paying another $74.8 million to engineers already being paid $60 million to work on a turnpike expansion plan. The turnpike authority’s plan is proceeding despite lawsuits filed by property owners whose homes are in the path of the future toll roads. [The Oklahoman

AARP seeks moratorium on utility rate increases: The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is being asked to put a moratorium on additional utility rate increases. Sean Voskuhl, AARP state director, sent the three members of the panel a letter on Monday seeking the moratorium. [Tulsa World

(Audio) Long Story Short: Who’s Safeguarding Your Drinking Water and Not Updating Your Voting Access?: Listen to reports on Veolia North America’s track record of drinking water violations in the state, the seven-year delay in Oklahoma’s online voter registration system and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s Native American boarding school listening session in Ardmore. [Oklahoma Watch

Federal Government News

Child Tax Credit: Proposal calls for new monthly payments but report cites ‘weaknesses’ in plan: Millions of families with children were able to qualify for the expanded child tax credit under last year’s pandemic relief bill, meaning they received a monthly payment of as much as $300 per child. Some lawmakers are now hoping to bring those monthly child tax credit payments back, despite concerns from one nonpartisan agency. [KFOR

Voting and Election News

Horn: It’s time to lead the nation back to a government founded on principles, not parties: We find ourselves today living in unprecedented times. Today’s toxic political environment is to overwhelm and leave us caught between the extremes, but we are not without power, and we are not without hope. [Opinion / The Oklahoman

Health News

Eighth case of monkeypox confirmed in Oklahoma, state health officials say: An eighth case of monkeypox has been confirmed in Oklahoma, state health officials said Wednesday. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 16,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported in 74 countries since about May. [Tulsa World

Mercy, Mayo Clinic team up to use data science for better disease treatment, prevention: Mercy and Mayo Clinic are embarking on a 10-year alliance to use data science and clinical records for better disease treatment and prevention, the health systems announced Tuesday. [The Oklahoman

Criminal Justice News

Oklahoma officers cleared in deadly shootout following Kilpatrick Turnpike pursuit: More than a dozen officers have been cleared in the death of an armed robbery suspect who led authorities on a vehicle pursuit in April that shut down the Turner Turnpike and ended with a shootout. [The Oklahoman

Economic Opportunity

Lending program aims to ease veterans into homes: Using a VA loan to purchase a home can be a difficult and confusing process. Jill Castilla experienced this – both as a banker and as a veteran – and figured there had to be a better way. Citizens Bank of Edmond, where Castilla is president and CEO, just launched a new lending program designed to be “a seamless experience for veterans and active military utilizing their VA eligibility.” [The Journal Record

Education News

TPS school board member meets with constituents for first time since walking out of board meeting: A contentious meeting hosted by Tulsa Public Schools board member E’Lena Ashley was held Monday night. About fifty people gathered in an east Tulsa restaurant outside of Ashley’s district to share their thoughts. [Public Radio Tulsa

General News

Climate disinformation leaves lasting mark as world heats: The reality of a changing climate is now clear to most Americans, as heatwaves and wildfires, rising sea levels and extreme storms become more common. Even as surveys show the public generally has become more concerned about climate change, a sizeable number of Americans have become even more distrustful of the scientific consensus. [AP via Enid News & Eagle

Oklahoma Local News

Resident input sought on next round of federal COVID relief projects: Officials are asking Tulsa residents for input on how best to distribute up to $7 million of the city’s federal COVID-19 relief funding share. [Tulsa World

Quote of the Day

“In 2022, 72 percent of all Oklahoma school districts had more than 50 percent of their students classified as economically disadvantaged, making this the area of greatest need in Oklahoma’s public education system.”

-Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency (LOFT) program evaluator Bradley Ward, addressing needs of students and schools highlighted in a new report on state education funding. [NonDoc

Number of the Day

3 in 5

Rate of women who occupy minimum wage jobs in Oklahoma [National Women’s Law Center]

Policy Note

States That Raise Minimum Wage May Counterbalance Inflation: With inflation near its highest rate, many states’ attempts to modify their minimum wage standards could lessen the sting of gas and food prices. Many states and cities have raised their minimum wage in recent years when inflation wasn’t such a pressing issue. But today, the wage increases could counteract some of inflation’s effects. [Society for Human Resource Management

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Kristin Wells served as the Communications and Operations Fellow for OK Policy from October 2021 to July 2022. She previously worked as a digital content producer for News On 6. A native Kansas Citian, Kristin graduated with a B.A. in Media Studies and a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Tulsa in 2020. While there, she was accepted into the Global Scholars program, spurring her interests in policy, social movements, global identities, and the importance of education and advocacy. She hopes to use her skills to continue to learn and create a more equitable future for Oklahomans. An avid sports fan, Kristin lives in Tulsa with her rescue dog and is passionate about college basketball, documentaries, and coffee.

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