Undedicated higher education CARES funding should be invested in students’ immediate needs

Colleges and universities should dedicate CARES Act funding to help ensure students have access to necessities such as food and housing. This can significantly reduce the number of students forced to drop out of school due to financial hardship and help secure Oklahoma’s economic recovery in the aftermath of COVID-19. [More...]

Gov. Stitt’s GEER plan widens the gap in access to technology and online learning for low-income students and students of color

Unfortunately, our Governor squandered an opportunity to use federal dollars to mitigate this harm. As a result, these decisions have left the vast majority of low-income students without the resources they need to access a safe and quality education this coming school year. [More...]

Oklahoma schools should use federal Education Stabilization Funds to mitigate learning loss for low-income students

Additional federal dollars should be used to support low-income students through extended instructional time, lower student-to-staff ratios, and other initiatives. Such investments will prevent the COVID-19 slide from widening academic disparities even further. [More...]

Rebuilding Oklahoma: Policy Recommendations to Respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic and Strengthen Our State for the Long Term

The Oklahoma Policy Institute has evaluated legislative and administrative actions — both state and federal — that will best prepare the state for a long-term recovery that benefits the health and well-being of all Oklahomans. [More...]

Child care provider support needed to get Oklahoma economy running

Our child care industry and the future of our state’s economy are at stake. Now it is time for the state to listen. [More...]

Broadband is more important than ever — here is how Oklahoma can respond (Guest Post: Dr. Brian Whitacre)

Broadband connectivity will be an important part of our society both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The Oklahoma Legislature should take advantage of the attention drawn to this issue and develop policies that will set us up for the increasingly digital future. [More...]

Emergency relief, policy changes urgently needed for child care in Oklahoma

Child care providers cannot sustain this critical resource, and families will struggle to keep their children safe, without urgent emergency relief and critical policy changes. Ten state organizations crafted a series of recommendations for how to address child care in Oklahoma. [More...]

School support personnel play vital role, should receive pay during closure

Support staff serve as the backbone of schools, and their responsibility to keep schools safe and clean have become even more critical amidst the coronavirus outbreak. We call on lawmakers and the State Department of Education to continue working together to ensure Oklahoma school support employees are paid during school closures. [More...]

Providing food security for Oklahoma students who might otherwise go without meals

In response to this need, OSDE received approval for waivers to allow schools to provide “grab and go” meals at no cost to low-income students who qualify for free and reduced-priced lunch through the Summer Food Service Program. [More...]

Child care plays pivotal role during health crisis

By staying open, child care centers make it possible for those workers with children to carry out these important roles. Below are some policy measures that can support keeping child care centers open during the COVID-19 health emergency. [More...]