The Weekly Wonk: February 15, 2012

the_weekly_wonkWhat’s up this week at Oklahoma Policy Institute? The Weekly Wonk is dedicated to this week’s events, publications, and blog posts.

This week we explored how Oklahoma’s wealth gap perpetuates itself due to disparities in health, education, and access to transportation.  Guest blogger and theologian Sarah Morice-Brubaker looked at the “tenther movement” seeking to avoid federal laws.  

The OK Policy Blog debunked claims made by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs about our state’s spending.  We posted director David Blatt’s remarks at Oklahoma Policy Institute’s 5th anniversary dinner and award ceremony at Cain’s Ballroom.  OK Policy analyst Gene Perry was quoted in a Tulsa World article about the influence of education corporations on state policy.  

In The Know, Policy Notes

Numbers of the Day

  • 49.2 percent – Percentage of voting-age Oklahomans who turned out to vote in the 2012 election, compared to 58.2 percent nationally and 3rd lowest among the states
  • $18,473 – Average annual earnings for servers in Oklahoma, not even half of the average annual earnings for all occupations $38,191, 2011
  • 864 – Number of state employees working in common education in FY 2011, down 27 percent from 1,176 in FY 2002
  • 2nd – Oklahoma’s rank for early childhood education enrollment; 51.6 percent of the state’s 3-4 year olds are enrolled in Head Start or pre-K, compared to 28.2 percent nationally in 2011
  • $1 million – Additional amount budgeted to the Department of Corrections by the Governor for FY 2014 – $59 million short of what the department asked for to address critical staffing shortages and overcapacity


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