The Weekly Wonk October 19, 2014

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 KnowClick here to subscribe to In The Know.

This week on the OK Policy Blog, we shared new data showing that Oklahoma’s education per pupil school formula funding has dropped more than any other state’s since 2008. The Tulsa World talked to Policy Director Gene Perry about what that means for Oklahoma. Steve Lewis noted that juvenile justice, child welfare, and suicide are receiving attention at the state Capitol.

We explained what you need to know about upcoming judicial elections, and discussed some state questions that will be on the ballot. SQ 769 would allow military reserve and guard members to hold elected office, and SQ 770 and 771 would expand property tax breaks for some veterans and their families. Executive Director David Blatt discussed the three state questions in his Journal Record column.

On November 10th, OK Policy will host Dr. Lawrence R. Jacobs, a leading expert on health care policy, for his lunchtime talk “The 2014 Elections and the Future of Health Reform.” Click here to purchase tickets.

In his Journal Record column, Oklahoma Observer editor Arnold Hamilton cited OK Policy data on Oklahomans’ political affiliations while discussing why political change may be on the rise in this state. In our Editorial of the Week, The Oklahoman’s editorial board pointed out that a bill to expand DNA testing of persons charged with some crimes might be set back by testimony from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation that thousands of tests already mandated under existing law go undone. We’ve written about why indiscriminate DNA testing could put innocent Oklahomans at risk before.

Quote of the week:

“The problem with accountability in public education in America is we measure what’s easy then make it important. We have to reverse this and measure what’s important, not what’s easy.”

– Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Rob Neu, discussing OKCPS’s decision to build a 150-person committee and draft a school improvement plan for the district (Source:

See previous Quotes of the Day here.

Numbers of the day:

  • 1,881 – Deaths due to stroke in Oklahoma in 2012. Strokes were the fifth leading cause of death in Oklahoma that year.
  • 87% – Percentage of Oklahoma’s public elementary school teachers who are women.
  • 10,089 –  Number of active underground storage tanks in Oklahoma carrying certain hazardous substance or petroleum. There have been 38 confirmed releases and 35 completed cleanups this year.
  • 87% – Percentage of Oklahoma’s public elementary school teachers who are women.

See previous Numbers of the Day and sources here.

What we’re reading:


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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