Weekly Wonk November 24, 2013

the_weekly_wonkThe Weekly Wonk is a summary of Oklahoma Policy Institute’s events, publications, blog posts, and coverage. Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In The Know. Click here to subscribe to In The Know. 

On our blog, OK Policy Director David Blatt notes that a new third-grade reading law could block thousands of Oklahoma kids in special ed programs from advancing to fourth grade; he also addressed this issue in his weekly column for the Journal Record. We’ve written previously about the third-grade retention law.

In a guest post, Mark Lash writes that the method for determining the net benefit of the Quality Jobs Program, a program that incentivizes creating jobs, has been kept confidential. He’s written about the Quality Jobs Program for us before.  We introduced Oklahoma Assets Network (OAN), an effort to better represent the lives and needs of working families to the public and state policymakers.

The Duncan Ledger wrote about our CountySTATS 2013, which displays summary data and statistics for each of the state’s counties with a two-page fact-sheetBlatt was interviewed on KTUL about enrollment in the online health insurance marketplaces. 

Numbers of the Day

  • $2.4 billion – The value of food and agricultural exports shipped through Oklahoma’s Port of Catoosa, the 13th busiest inland port out of 32 nationwide 
  • 742,200 – The number of Oklahomans (18-64 yrs) with ‘pre-existing conditions’ who were, before the Affordable Care Act, frequently denied insurance coverage, 33.8 percent of the state’s working age population
  • 43 percent – Percentage of Oklahomans that enrolled in a 4-year college or university in 2005 that had graduated as of 2011, versus 56 percent nationally
  • 5 – Number of people who voted in a bond election over almost $1 million in school improvements for Crutcho Public Schools
  • 5.5 percent – The percentage of Oklahoma’s population that is foreign born, compared to 13.0 percent nationally in 2011

Policy Notes

  • The number of uninsured children nationwide has declined to historic lows, according to the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.
  • The New Yorker reports that in states with working online health insurance marketplaces, enrollment is rising – and fast. 
  • The American Prospect writes about a program in New York City helping low-income families build savings
  • Wonkblog notes that while healthcare reform may cause some anxieties, the status quo for American healthcare is a disaster. 
  • A proposed overhaul to Oklahoma’s pension system would do more harm than good, according to research presented by the Economic Policy Institute and the Keystone Research Center.


Carly Putnam joined OK Policy in 2013. As Policy Director, she supervises policy research and strategy. She previously worked as an OK Policy intern, and she was OK Policy's health care policy analyst through July 2020. She graduated from the University of Tulsa in 2013. As a student, she was a participant in the National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute and interned with Planned Parenthood. Carly is a graduate of the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Nonprofit Management Certification; the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council’s Partners in Policymaking; The Mine, a social entrepreneurship fellowship in Tulsa; and Leadership Tulsa Class 62. She currently serves on the boards of Restore Hope Ministries and The Arc of Oklahoma. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and doing battle with her hundred year-old house.

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