In The Know: Superintendent Barresi won’t speak to Oklahoma Education Association

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.

Today you should know that State Superintendent Janet Barresi declined a request speak to the Oklahoma Education Association, whose members represent 35,000 teachers, school staff and retirees, saying she didn’t want to have her views “filtered through the lens of liberal union bosses.”  

A new rule requires oil and natural gas producers in the state to disclose the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’.  New records shed light on how NORCE, a residential care facility for the developmentally disabled, deals with abuse and neglect reports.  

An Oklahoma man was arrested on a complaint alleging that he committed a hate crime against a woman he assumed to be a Muslim.  Damario Solomon-Simmons, OKPolicy’s new Legislative Liaison, asked whether university football programs should take more responsibility in supporting their athletes’ academic success.  

The Number of the Day is the share of total state expenditures for undergraduate student aid in Oklahoma that is based only on financial need.  In today’s Policy Note, Atlantic Cities suggested the real reason the poor go without bank accounts.

In The News

Oklahoma education head declines meeting with teacher group
State Superintendent Janet Barresi says she has no plans to meet with an Oklahoma association that represents about 35,000 teachers, school staff and retirees. Oklahoma Education Association President Linda Hampton said Thursday she was surprised to learn Barresi had turned down the group’s request to have her speak to their members. In a news release on Wednesday, Barresi said she didn’t want to have her views “filtered through the lens of liberal union bosses.” Hampton said the group typically meets with all candidates who are running for state superintendent before deciding which candidates to recommend to their members.

Read more from NewsOK

New disclosure rules target chemicals used in fracking
More information is now available on oil and natural gas wells drilled throughout Oklahoma. Beginning Wednesday, operators of all oil and gas wells in the state must report the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing either directly to the website or to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which will add the information to the FracFocus database.

Read more from NewsOK

Documents shed light on how NORCE deals with abuse, neglect
The records were released this week after a lengthy review by agency attorneys to determine what information in the files was public. In a five-year time span between 2008 and 2012, there were 144 total referrals, or accusations, made to DHS’ Office of Client Advocacy. Fewer than one-fourth of those were confirmed cases of abuse or neglect.

Read more from The Enid News and Eagle

Tulsa man arrested on religion-based hate-crime complaint
A Tulsa man was arrested Thursday on a complaint alleging that he committed a hate crime against a woman he assumed to be a Muslim. Stuart D. Manning, 43, is accused of hitting the woman in the forehead and sticking a knife in a tire on her vehicle while repeatedly calling her a “Muslim b—-,” his booking report says.

Read more from Tulsa World

Bowled Over: BCS schools failing their Black male athletes (Damario Solomon-Simmons)
Today, almost 60 percent of all college football players are Black, and it would be hard to find any top team where Black players make up less than 80 percent of their starters. Unfortunately, for too many of these Black male athletes, athletic progress has not translated into academic success. This sad scenario is the subject of a new report titled “Black Male Student-Athletes and the 2014 Bowl Championship Series” from the University of Pennsylvania Center for the Study of Race & Equality.

Read more from Oklahoma Policy Institute

Quote of the Day

“To help Black male student-athletes coming from disadvantaged schools and neighborhoods adjust and thrive in the college setting, the NCAA and its member institutions should utilize some of their billions in new TV revenue to adopt and pay for specific policies and programs that would provide much needed resources and support.”

Damario Solomon-Simmons, managing partner of SolomonSimmonSharrock law firm and Legislative Liaison for Oklahoma Policy Institute

Number of the Day

20.2 percent

The share of total state expenditures for undergraduate student aid in Oklahoma that is based only on financial need, 8th lowest among the states in 2012

Source: National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

The Real Reason the Poor Go Without Bank Accounts
Many factors—cost, transparency, convenience—go into the choice consumers make between a bank and a check casher. Atmosphere and the attitudes of the staff are only one component, but this piece of the puzzle may be more important than we thought. If policy efforts to move the unbanked to banks are to be successful in the long run, banks need to remember they are a service industry involved in one of society’s most important and basic relationships.

Read more from Atlantic Cities

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