SB 11: Delaying Pre-K would be a step back for Oklahoma’s children

[Image Source: U.S. Department of Education / Flickr] SB 11 would move cutoff dates for children entering pre-K from September 1 to July 1. Oklahoma would be the only state to have a cutoff before July 31st. The change would delay pre-K eligibility by a year for children who are two months shy of the new cutoff date. SB 11 would particularly hurt low-income families and children of color who benefit most from pre-K programs. [More...]

Apply now to be a paid communications intern with OK Policy

OK Policy is now accepting applications for a paid, part-time communications internship in our Tulsa office. The internship runs from late-February 2019 through the end of the year. This position may be right for you if: You are a college… Read more [More...]

Speak up by Friday: Protect SoonerCare for thousands of Oklahoma families

This spring, Governor Fallin and the state Legislature directed the state Medicaid agency to build a plan to cut health coverage for low-income parents who don’t meet a work requirement. When a draft of the agency’s plan became available this… Read more [More...]

Kicking the can down the road: How inadequate funding dismantles data-driven education reform

There is a saying that “what gets measured, gets done,” and in 1990, our state Legislature seemed to understand this adage. That year, they passed HB 1017, which dedicated $560 million dollars over five years to implement historic education reforms including class size reduction, curriculum standards, testing, and early childhood programs. Since that time, state funding gains have severely eroded, and Oklahoma has not been able to maintain many aspects of HB 1017 including class size limits. [More...]

Push to end agencies boards could inject more politics and ideology into state agency operations (Capitol Update)

Steve Lewis served as Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1989-1991. He currently practices law in Tulsa and represents clients at the Capitol. It looks like we may be in for a wholesale change in the way state government works… Read more [More...]

The Weekly Wonk: Addressing the mental health crisis; Oklahoma’s budget outlook; a needed boost for working families; & more…

What’s up this week at Oklahoma Policy Institute? The Weekly Wonk shares our most recent publications and other resources to help you stay informed about Oklahoma. Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In… Read more [More...]

Budget outlook offers opportunities, but challenges remain

After a decade of ongoing shortfalls and repeated cuts to core services, Oklahoma’s finances are finally in recovery. Revenues are growing and lawmakers are expected to have substantially more money for next year’s budget, according to initial projections that were… Read more [More...]

Want to improve the mental health of Oklahomans? Expand Medicaid.

Oklahoma is in crisis.  While need for mental health care climbs, Oklahomans overwhelmingly lack access to the care needed to address these sometimes preventable, always treatable conditions. This has serious consequences: untreated mental illness can mean increased risk for other… Read more [More...]

Finding the courage to say “no more prisons” (Capitol Update)

Steve Lewis served as Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1989-1991. He currently practices law in Tulsa and represents clients at the Capitol. “We’re not going to build any more prisons.” I remember House Speaker Dan Draper making that declarative… Read more [More...]

The Weekly Wonk: Lessons of our history; deadline for budget summit scholarships; new comment period for SoonerCare restrictions; & more…

What’s up this week at Oklahoma Policy Institute? The Weekly Wonk shares our most recent publications and other resources to help you stay informed about Oklahoma. Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In… Read more [More...]