Oklahoma’s Poverty Profile 2011

Poverty in Oklahoma reached a six-year high in 2011, according to data released last month by the U.S. Census Bureau.  The data revealed that more than one in six Oklahomans – and almost one in four children – now live… Read more [More...]

Richard Cordray: "The marketplace is hostile to those in poverty."

These comments were excerpted from a speech given by Richard Cordray, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, at the 2012 Assets Learning Conference, a biannual gathering on asset-building hosted by CFED (Corporation for Enterprise Development) in Washington D.C. The… Read more [More...]

New Census data shows many still left out of Oklahoma's prosperity

Almost 1 in 4 Oklahoma children lived in families that fell below the poverty line in 2011, according to new Census Bureau data released today. The poverty rate for Oklahomans under 18 was estimated at 23.0 percent in 2011, an… Read more [More...]

New Census data shows poverty rate holds steady; young adults benefit from health reform

The number of Americans living in poverty remained unchanged in 2011, following three straight years of increases, according to new data from the Census Bureau released today.  The current poverty rate is still at the highest level since 1993, with… Read more [More...]

Avoiding the Medicaid 'coverage crater'

When Congress approved a prescription drug benefit for the Medicare program in the mid-2000s, it created the infamous ‘Medicare donut hole‘ – a large gap in coverage of prescription drug costs. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), the landmark health care… Read more [More...]

Five reasons poverty persists in Oklahoma

Poverty has been a part of Oklahoma’s landscape since before statehood.  Early settlers faced enormous odds – drought, food insecurity, and nonexistent infrastructure – and possessed few material resources.  During the Great Depression, the state lost nearly half a million… Read more [More...]

What welfare? No safety net for Oklahoma's poorest children

Welfare as most people imagine it doesn’t actually exist anymore.  Public discourse conjures images of lazy people scamming the system and living large off their monthly government check.  It’s a popular, but wildly inaccurate narrative.  Welfare reform in the mid-1990s… Read more [More...]

A step sideways: Bill to drug-test welfare applicants gets a make-over

A bill to clarify drug-screening procedures for TANF applicants has passed both chambers of the legislature and been signed by Governor Fallin.  TANF, or ‘Temporary Assistance for Needy Families,’ is a temporary public benefit that provides cash assistance and other… Read more [More...]

Oklahoma’s middle-class children are falling behind

It’s no secret that Oklahoma lags behind other states in student achievement. In 2011, Oklahoma fourth graders’ reading scores ranked 40th among all states (plus Washington DC and Department of Defense schools). Among eighth graders, Oklahomans’ reading scores put us… Read more [More...]

A Rock and a Hard Place: 'Asset-tests' and Oklahoma's poor

The federal ‘Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations‘ (FDPIR) program provides food assistance to low-income Native American households living in Indian Country.  Many households participate in FDPIR as an alternative to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), formerly the food stamp… Read more [More...]