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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Ryan LaCroix / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

The controversial Ten Commandments monument will stay on the grounds of the Oklahoma State Capitol during the legal process challenging whether or not it’s constitutional.

Gov. Mary Fallin said Tuesday she supports Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s petition requesting a rehearing before the Oklahoma Supreme Court in the case. Fallin called the high court’s decision last month to remove the monument “deeply disturbing.”

“The Ten Commandments monument was built to recognize and honor the historical significance of the Commandments in our state’s and nation’s systems of laws,” Fallin said in a statement. “The monument was built and maintained with private dollars. It is virtually identical to a monument on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol which the United States Supreme Court ruled to be permissible.”

Oklahoma Department of Transportation / Twitter

Updated 4:37 p.m.: ​Severe thunderstorms delayed Tuesday's scheduled blasting work at the site of the rockslide along Interstate 35 in south central Oklahoma.

No new date has been set for the demolition work, but ODOT plans to issue an advisory ahead of the project since it will require the closure of all lanes of I-35 near Turner Falls.

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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.

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