In The Know: Shutdown affecting food banks, small businesses in the state

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 The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma is receiving fewer donations and experiencing higher demand under the government shutdown; in another month the food bank could experience major disruptions in funding and supply from the USDA.  The government shutdown barricaded many parks and recreation areas across Oklahoma, which is taking its toll on small businesses that rely on the demand generated by park traffic.

State legislators and GOP members discussed further obstruction to the Affordable Care Act at an event in Tulsa County.  Hundreds of Army senior staff and commanders in Lawton are undergoing specialized training to recognize and respond to the epidemic of sexual assault in the military.

OK Policy released its annual Oklahoma Poverty Profile for 2012.  State legislators were briefed by education officials on an independent study that found a massive computer glitch responsible for disruptions that affected thousands of students’ assessment exams.

In today’s Policy Note, map the opportunity gap at your child’s school with a database from ProPublica that looks at differences between schools with wealthy students and schools with poor students in access to advanced classes, athletics programs and AP pass rates.  The Number of the Day is the number of pregnant women, for every 100,000, who die from pregnancy-related complications in Oklahoma.

In The News

Fewer paychecks due to government shutdown affecting Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma
Federal agencies serving Green Country are starting to prepare for the possible effects of the government shutdown. The local food bank is preparing for the increased demands from fewer paychecks reaching families in the Tulsa area. The Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma has been forced to dip into funds to buy food due to low monetary and food donations. The bank is purchasing nearly 13 percent of the food distributed, an increase of about 6 percent since 2008. The shutdown is threatening federal funds, money the food bank counts on for emergency food pantries.

Read more from KJRH

Complicated Camping: Oklahoma’s Parks and the Government Shutdown

Thousands of federal workers in Oklahoma were furloughed because of the budget stalemate in Washington, D.C., including those in charge of operating and maintaining dozens of campsites and parks run by the U.S. government. In Sulphur, barricades warn the public away from entering the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, which is closed along with federal parks across the state, many around some of Oklahoma’s most popular lakes.

Read more from StateImpactOK

Ways to resist Affordable Care Act discussed by Tulsa County GOP panel

Panelists at a Tulsa County GOP event Wednesday discussed ways Oklahoma and its citizens can resist the Affordable Care Act’s requirements, including the possibility of passing a “nullification law” and refusing to pay fines for failure to carry insurance. One panelist at the event called President Barack Obama’s administration an “oligarchy” and “an undercover dictatorship.” Another panelist claimed that the federal health-care law allows federal officials to inspect the homes of people who home school their children and to share citizens’ medical records.

Read more from Tulsa World

Fort Sill trains to fight sex harassment, assault

Approximately 200 senior commanders and directorate heads received training on the Army’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program Wednesday with Fort Sill Commander Maj. Gen. Mark McDonald leading the way. “What is SHARP? Sexual harassment and rape prevention. You know, we have a problem in the United States Army. We have rapes that occur. Rapes by soldiers, rapes against soldiers. And we have to take action to stop this,” McDonald said.

Read more from The Lawton Constitution

Oklahoma legislators briefed on student testing
An independent study found a massive computer glitch in April that affected thousands of test taking students across the state had little overall impact on test scores, a state education official told Oklahoma legislators on Wednesday. Assistant State Superintendent Maridyth McBee briefed a joint committee of House and Senate members on the impact of the computer disruption and on the latest tests being implemented statewide. The legislative hearing was requested by Senate Education Committee Chairman Sen. John Ford amid complaints from many lawmakers that students are being tested too much.

Read more from Associated Press

Oklahoma Poverty Profile 2012
This fact sheet from Oklahoma Policy Institute offers a series of concise numbers and graphs summarizing key findings from the 2012 American Community Survey on poverty in Oklahoma.

Read more from Oklahoma Policy Institute

Quote of the Day

“I’d say we’re probably down 50 to 60 percent — at least.  I’m embarrassed for our government that functions so poorly. And I just wish there was an election coming up.”

Dick Duhn, owner of Arbuckle RV Resort, on the impact of the government shutdown of parks on his business

Number of the Day


The number of pregnant women, for every 100,000, who die from pregnancy-related complications in Oklahoma – 3rd highest maternal mortality rate in the U.S.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics via Center for American Progress

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

The Opportunity Gap: Is Your State Providing Equal Access to Education?
This database includes all public schools in districts with more than 3,000 students from the 2009-2010 school year — about three-quarters of all such students in the country. Use it to find out how well your state provides poor and wealthier schools equal access to advanced classes that researchers say will help them later in life. | Our latest data also includes AP pass rates and sports participation.

Read more from ProPublica

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