Alvin Trusty / Flickr

Oklahoma Schools Condensing Schedule to Save Money, Attract Teachers

For a lot of schools in Oklahoma, juggling flat budgets with increasing costs means a bumpy road ahead for district superintendents. And getting teachers to work for the meager starting salary is also a struggle. So how do they make it work? Some districts in Oklahoma pay teachers in time – four days a week, instead of five. Ask a kid from Asher Public Schools—where they’ve been doing it for five years—and they’ll tell you it’s the best. But for parents—there are a lot of questions. Of course...
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Mark Twain Elementary second grade teacher Elizabeth Clarke staples together work from two of her second-grade students in this 2013 photo.
Chase Cook / Oklahoma Watch

For the past four months, Oklahoma educators and other stakeholders have been working on new state education standards to replace the Common Core. The Oklahoma State Department of Education published a rough draft of the new standards on their website Monday evening.

Alvin Trusty / Flickr

For a lot of schools in Oklahoma, juggling flat budgets with increasing costs means a bumpy road ahead for district superintendents. And getting teachers to work for the meager starting salary is also a struggle.

So how do they make it work? Some districts in Oklahoma pay teachers in time – four days a week, instead of five.

Ask a kid from Asher Public Schools—where they’ve been doing it for five years—and they’ll tell you it’s the best. But for parents—there are a lot of questions.

ok.gov

Gov. Mary Fallin is pushing the Oklahoma Board of Corrections to loosen its policies governing when most prisoners serving time for “85 percent crimes” can be awarded early-release credits.

Murders, rapists and others convicted of violent crimes would be eligible for the credits. However, because of existing law, any change made by the corrections board would not affect those convicted of drug or human trafficking crimes, said Steve Mullins, Fallin’s general counsel.

The corrections board must approve the proposal.

Ryan LaCroix / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

A group of Oklahoma lawmakers has filed a constitutional amendment to remove language from the state constitution that the Supreme Court says prohibits a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the state Capitol.

Republican Rep. John Paul Jordan of Yukon is principal author of the resolution that calls for a statewide vote of the people to remove Article 2, Section 5 of the state constitution. The provision prohibits public money or property from being used for religious purposes. More than a dozen other lawmakers have signed on as co-authors.

Austin Holland with the Oklahoma Geological Survey briefs Corporation Commissioners on new earthquake research.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

As Oklahoma’s earthquake swarm developed over the past few years, State Seismologist Austin Holland’s work days got a lot longer. That’s the main reason Holland is leaving his position in Oklahoma to be a supervisory geophysicist at the Albuquerque Seismic Lab.

From The Oklahoman‘s Paul Monies:

Oklahoma! was the first musical that the celebrated team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II wrote together. On the surface, it tells the story of a young woman (Laurey) deciding whether to go to a party with a dangerous, lonely farmhand (Jud) or a nice, young cowboy (Curly).

While most of the attention on the impacts of fracking has focused on things like drinking water, air pollution and earthquakes, state regulators in Pennsylvania are working on another less-discussed, but no less serious, side effect of oil and gas development: forest fragmentation.

USACETULSA
Flickr

The McClellan-Kerr Navigation System that connects the Port of Catoosa — the nation’s furthest inland seaport — to the Gulf of Mexico is “a hell of a mess” after the area got nearly 20 inches of rain in May and June, port director Bob Portiss tell’s the Tulsa World.

OKC Police car.
Paul L. McCord Jr. / Flickr.com

Oklahoma City police say an officer has fatally shot a man who threatened the officer with a handgun.

Sgt. Gary Knight says the suspect was killed around 2 a.m. Monday morning following a search through a residential area. A homeowner had reported a burglary to police and the officer found the suspect in another person's backyard.

Knight says the suspect pointed the pistol at the officer before the officer shot the suspect, who died at the scene. Their identities haven't been released.

No other injuries were reported.

Ryan LaCroix / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

The Oklahoma Supreme Court's decision to order a Ten Commandments monument removed from the state Capitol grounds has so angered conservatives in the Legislature that some Republicans are calling for justices to be impeached. Others want to amend the Bill of Rights in the 108-year-old state constitution.

The outcry immediately followed the court's 7-2 decision Tuesday that the monument violates the Oklahoma constitution's ban on using public property to benefit a religion.

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