education

University of Oklahoma president and former governor and U.S. Senator David Boren during a press conference Thursday as his group delivers 300,000 signatures to the Secretary of State's office.
YesFor779 / Twitter

Oklahoma voters will decide whether or not raise sales taxes by a penny to fund education this fall.

State Question 779 will raise about $615 million for $5,000 teacher pay raises, among other education initiatives. University of Oklahoma president David Boren has been leading the charge for the penny sales tax. The grassroots effort Oklahoma’s Children – Our Future had 90 days to get 124,000 petition signatures to get the question on the November ballot. They delivered 300,000 to Secretary of State Chris Benge’s office Thursday – more than a month before the deadline.

The Oklahoma City Public Schools administration building.
Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma City Public Schools has reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Education to address the disproportionate discipline of black students in the district.

Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Shawn Sheehan accepts the award during a ceremony at the Oklahoma State Fair Park in August 2015.
Oklahoma State Department of Education / Facebook

The three-day filing period opened Wednesday morning for candidates running for state and federal office. More than two dozen educators are considering politics as the state continues to deal with deep cuts to public schools. An unofficial head count shows about 30 teachers running for office.

Don Wentroth said he simply wants a better learning environment for students.

Ada City Schools Superintendent Pat Harrison says his district will save about $30,000 by cutting six days from the remainder of the school year.
Richard R. Barron / The Ada News

Oklahoma requires one of the shortest school years in the nation, in terms of instructional days.

But that hasn’t stopped a growing number of districts from ending their school year early this year or moving to four-day weeks to deal with cutbacks in state funding.

Oklahoma City Public Schools superintendent Rob Neu addresses reporters during an April 21, 2015 news conference about the district's discipline practices toward minority students.
Oklahoma Watch / YouTube

Oklahoma City Public Schools said Friday 92 administrative positions will be eliminated in order to save about $5 million in the 2016/2017 school year. That's about an 18 percent reduction in the overall administrative workforce.

59 of those jobs will be at the Central Office, and 33 will be at campuses throughout the district. That comes on top of the 208 teacher position cuts announced last month.

Students in Stephanie Gragg’s English class prepare for a test at Midwest City High School.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

State lawmakers could be close to eliminating end-of-instruction tests in favor of a single exam that’s recognized across the country.

House Bill 1622 gets rid of nine exams that all students take, but aren’t required by federal law. The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt reports the bill also lets the State Department of Education decide which tests high schoolers take to graduate:

The Oklahoma City Public Schools administration building.
Oklahoma Watch

The Oklahoma City Public Schools district proposes addressing racial disparities in discipline through an “intense process” of reforms, an attorney for the district told the school board Monday evening.

The proposal is intended to resolve a 2014 complaint being investigated by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights that the school district disciplined minority students more frequently and more harshly.

elementary school library
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The top Republican in the Oklahoma House pledged education cuts in the Fiscal Year 2017 budget won’t exceed 5 percent.

House Speaker Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview, said his GOP colleagues want to send a message to local schools.

Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise discuss two sides of international education. China has charged an education advocate in Tibet with inciting separatism, and a one-room basement library in Afghanistan is providing books to citizens once ruled by the Taliban.

Then contributor Joshua Landis talks with Jeffrey Mankoff from the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He argues the U.S. tried to outsource solving the Ukraine crisis onto German Chancellor Angela Merkel. They’ll also discuss Russia’s involvement in Syria.

high school library
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Dozens of Oklahoma school districts sued the State Department of Education Monday for allegedly miscalculating the education funding formula for 22 years.

The lawsuit filed with the Oklahoma Supreme Court says counties that use a commercial and agricultural personal property tax assessment ratio above 11 percent can keep the extra revenue for the local school district.

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