In The Know: Oklahoma’s regional universities request tuition hikes from 8 to 11.8 percent

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. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

Important primary elections are happening across Oklahoma today. Polls are open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. Click here to find your polling place and see your sample ballot. You can find a complete list of candidates by county or by office.

Today In The News

Oklahoma’s regional universities request tuition hikes from 8 to 11.8 percent: The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education will meet this week to approve fiscal year 2017 budgets and tuition increases for the state’s 25 public colleges and universities. The increases range from 8 percent at Southeastern Oklahoma State University to 11.9 percent at Northeastern State University. With the increases, the cost for undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees for 30 hours will range from $6,207 to $6,699 [NewsOK].

‘There is nothing left’: State’s child-care cuts create hardship for working parents in need: Tulsa single dad Teejay Weaver was celebrating landing a permanent job painting airplane antennas only to have more worries pile up. He has been raising his 4-year-old son, Ti’ago, since birth. With his son at Emerson Elementary’s pre-kindergarten program last year, he didn’t need child care because he had a flexible schedule as a painter. An opportunity for more steady employment came his way two weeks ago, and he went to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services to apply for child-care subsidies, as his income qualifies him for approval. Only, no one is getting approval now [Tulsa World].

Tuesday’s primary election could pack some surprise results: Across Oklahoma on Tuesday, voters will be deciding primary battles for the state Legislature, some county seats and U.S. Senate and Congress. Tuesday’s results will determine which Republican and Democrat — and in some seats Libertarian — will compete in November’s general election. Primary elections typically draw dedicated voters as the general contests in November — especially during a presidential election — normally see larger turnout [NewsOK]. Bring a friend to vote and post a “We Voted” Ussie today using the hashtag #tokvotes to be entered in a drawing by Together Oklahoma [Together Oklahoma].

Here are five good reasons to vote today: Everyone registered to vote in Tulsa County has a reason to go to the polls Tuesday, but officials are hoping for at least 15 percent. Fifteen percent? Now, that’s just sad. Early voting and absentee ballots are at about 2 percent of Tulsa County voters. That would fill only about one-third of the BOK Center. Need some reasons to do the right thing as a citizen? [Ginnie Graham / Tulsa World]

On primary election day, a few examples of how votes can matter: Primary elections in Oklahoma generally produce a low turnout. They’re held in the summertime, when voters are more engaged in T-ball games and family vacations than they are in state and local politics. Yet it’s worth remembering that every vote really does count. As voters consider whether to cast a ballot Tuesday for the candidates seeking public office, we offer a few examples of why they should [Editorial Board / NewsOK].

Broad coalition presses for historic criminal justice reform in Oklahoma: With signatures totaling more than 220,000 names on a pair of proposed ballot initiatives, chances are that Oklahomans will vote on State Questions 780 and 781 this November. In addition to the broad success in signature-gathering, the proposals have garnered bipartisan, conservative and liberal leadership support [CapitolBeatOK]. The state questions would address some of what’s driving Oklahoma’s prison population growth [OK Policy].

Subtle factors combine to fuel school-to-prison pipeline: The Oklahoma Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has published a study examining the civil rights impact of school discipline and juvenile-justice policies. The study explains how excessive and disparate suspensions of students “may lead to high rates of juvenile incarceration” — particularly among youth of color, boys and students with disabilities — in what has become known as the school-to-prison pipeline [NonDoc].

What could Supreme Court’s ruling in abortion case mean for Oklahoma?: The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struck down a Texas abortion law that caused clinics all over that state to shut down, and abortion rights groups expressed optimism that a similar Oklahoma law never will go into effect. In a 5-3 decision, the justices ruled that a 2013 Texas law placed an undue burden on access to abortions. The regulations require doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles and mandate that abortion clinics meet the same standards as outpatient surgery centers [NewsOK].

Oklahoma death row inmate is now eighth eligible for execution date: Jemaine Monteil Cannon, who killed his girlfriend in Tulsa in 1995, became the eighth Oklahoma death row inmate eligible for an execution date on Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review his case. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year rejected Cannon’s arguments that his public defenders had failed to give him effective representation, in part because they did not investigate properly his claims that witnesses at his trial had interacted with jurors [NewsOK].

Large Oklahoma funds don’t fret over Brexit market turmoil: As financial markets around the world reacted badly to Britain’s exit from the European Union, Oklahoma investment fund managers’ responses were more sanguine. “We’re deployed to take big gains and large losses. Compared to the losses in late 2008, this is nothing,” said Bob Jones, executive director at the Oklahoma Firefighters Pension System. “We’re long-term investors, and this event did not upset us a bit.” “I’m not saying this event is not important,” he said. “But in the larger scheme of things and how it affects this pension system, it’s a yawn.” [Journal Record]

Nonprofits seek ways to cover drop in donations: Special Care Inc., a nonprofit school and counseling center for people with disabilities, is seeking new ways to reach donors. Kelli Dupuy, director of marketing and development, said the organization received about $75,000 less in donations this fiscal year than in 2015. Although the organization has not cut any programs, it’s spread as far as it can go, she said. “It’s a hard time for everyone,” Dupuy said. “It’s tough we have to do everything we can to maintain good teachers and to keep the lights on.” [Journal Record]

Quote of the Day

“Those of us that think ‘It doesn’t matter to me because my children are grown, so what do I care if the child-care industry collapses?’ need to understand the full impact of this decision. These cuts will effect job performance of those who do have young children that are working next to us or providing services we rely on daily. This includes hospital staff, food service industry, education and manufacturing, just to name a few. … Child-care programs will close, early-childhood professionals will become unemployed, families will not be able to find child care, children will not have appropriate early-learning opportunities and so will not be ready for kindergarten, and the cycle will just continue.”

-Karen Smith, executive director of the Child Care Resource Center in Tulsa, about the effect of Oklahoma no longer providing child care subsidies to any new families due to state budget cuts (Source)

Number of the Day


How much higher the median wage for white hourly workers in Oklahoma ($18/hr) is compared to people of color ($14/hr), a 29% disparity.

Source: National Equity Atlas

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

Why conservatives should call this big tax cut unfair: Arguments about growth and efficiency are critical when thinking about taxation. So is basic fairness, and there are both liberal and conservative interpretations of what fairness means. But whether you adhere to liberal or conservative principles, you should still draw the same conclusion; these days there’s not much fair about taxes in Kansas [MarketWatch].

You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.


Gene Perry worked for OK Policy from 2011 to 2019. He is a native Oklahoman and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in history and an M.A. in journalism.

One thought on “In The Know: Oklahoma’s regional universities request tuition hikes from 8 to 11.8 percent

  1. Criminal justice reform in this country, definitely NOT excluding OK, is notorious for ignoring implementation realities and avoiding evaluation futures like that cartoon of two scientists at a blackboard with heavy equations on both sides of a blank space, saying of the middle “then a miracle occurs.” These reforms, while marginal improvements if actually implemented well, show no awareness of or concern about either problem. If you want a continuous source of realism about what drives prison populations and the info and data you need to get good policies into place and to show they’re good, you should read John Pfaff’s Twitter feed regularly:

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.