KIDS COUNT Reports

Increasing the scholarship tax credit hurts public schools and benefits affluent Oklahomans

Correction 4/1/19: This post has been updated to correct information about the income eligibility for scholarship recipients.  In 2011, the Legislature passed the Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship Act, which grants tax credits to individuals or corporations who make a… Read more [More...]

Support staff pay raise and restoring cuts is key to improving Oklahoma’s schools

[Image Source: U.S. Department of Education / Flickr] Oklahoma schools don't have enough support staff to meet needs, and their salaries are far too low averaging just $21,583 a year. While HB 1010xx gave support professionals a $1,250 pay raise, it was well short of the $5,000 they asked for. This session, education support professionals must be a bigger part of our conversations about how to better serve Oklahoma's schools. [More...]

Hurry Up and Wait: For thousands of families, critical services can be a decade away (Guest Post: Erin Taylor)

There is a certain amount of hustle commonly involved in raising a child with a developmental disability.  As parents, we’re managing special education plans, medical appointments, and specialty therapies. But there is one experience where endurance, and not hustle, is called for: The Waiting List. [More...]

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...]

New economic rankings show Oklahoma falling further behind

There are quite a few reasons to be optimistic about Oklahoma this year. Unemployment is low and the state expects to have a budget surplus this year, the first in quite some time. But despite this good news, too many Oklahomans are still struggling to make ends meet and build a better future for themselves and their families. For the third straight year, Oklahoma has dropped in the Prosperity Now Scorecard rankings. This year, we rank 43rd in the financial health and overall well-being of our residents - that's down from 34th in 2016. [More...]

2019 Priority: Increase PK-12 state aid funding to restore school staffing and programs

Download this fact sheet as a printable pdf here. Read about the rest of OK Policy’s 2019 Legislative Policy Priorities here. The revenue measures passed in April 2018 as HB1010xx were a historic win for educators, funding an average $6,100… Read more [More...]

2019 Priority: Restore higher education funding to ensure a well-educated workforce

Download this fact sheet as a printable pdf here. Read about the rest of OK Policy’s 2019 Legislative Policy Priorities here. Maintaining a robust system of higher education is vital to Oklahoma’s economic prosperity. Insufficient funding hampers Oklahoma’s ability to… Read more [More...]

2019 Legislative Policy Priorities: Solutions for Oklahoma’s toughest challenges

We are offering proven solutions to poverty and the lack of opportunity that holds Oklahoma back from becoming a truly prosperous state. With this agenda and with all of you, we may finally fulfill the Oklahoma Standard and rebuild an economy and society that works for all. [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...]

More work needed to count all Oklahoma kids in the 2020 Census

Accurate Census data is an essential bedrock for our democracy and economy. We can all pitch in to make sure all Oklahomans are counted in 2020 and beyond. [More...]