education

Tulsa Community College freshman Zoey Radcliffe, center, looks at her notes while preparing for a final in her remedial math course. Thousands of Oklahomans take remedial college courses each year to relearn content they should have learned in high school
Nate Robson / Oklahoma Watch

Each year, thousands of Oklahoma students graduate from high school with the understanding that they are fully ready to pursue a college degree.

They have passed end-of-instruction exams in math, science, English and social studies. Many earned A’s or B’s in classes.

When they don their caps and gowns, nearly nine out of 10 of them will be handed a diploma certifying they meet Oklahoma’s “College Preparatory/Work Ready Curriculum Standards.”

high school library
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Due to Oklahoma’s revenue failure, the state Board of Education was mandated to cut expenses to K-12 education by $47 million. At a special board meeting held Thursday, Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister said these cuts could seriously impact some school districts.

“We do anticipate that some school districts will have a very hard time remaining open,” she said.

Joy Hofmeister, superintendent of public instruction, listens to a question from the audience during the "Oklahoma Watch-Out" forum on March 3.
Ilea Shutler / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma budget writers will likely face a $900 million shortfall for the next fiscal year, and declining revenue could force mid-year cuts to current agency appropriations.

But the state's top schools administrator is requesting an additional $78 million for next year's education budget.

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister says the Department of Education will need an additional $47 million to keep up with student population growth, and an additional $30 million for health care benefits for teachers, which are mandated by law.

State Sen. Patrick Anderson, R-Enid
Oklahoma State Senate

A bill in the Oklahoma Senate could reduce the number of school district administrators in the state by moving to a county-based superintendent system.

eCapitol reports that Sen. Patrick Anderson (R-Enid) filed the measure after an interim study earlier this year. Oklahoma has 77 counties and 521 school districts.

According to Anderson, the state could save up to $40 million dollars if the state uses the county model.

Once In Place, Sales Tax Breaks Nearly Impossible To Touch

Dec 12, 2015
money
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Buried deep in the Oklahoma tax code is a sales tax exemption for railroad spikes. Once it got hammered into place, it never budged.

The tax break was created in 1993 for the benefit of one spike manufacturer, Wellington Industries, so it would relocate from Texas to Sand Springs. Tax code reformers later targeted it for review, but it survived. Oklahoma Tax Commission officials said they weren’t able to calculate how much it costs the state today.

Truman Elementary School library
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Education officials around the state are praising Congress for approving the Every Student Succeeds Act that President Obama signed into law Thursday after it passed the U.S. Senate on Wednesday.

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister the law will give Oklahoma education stakeholders the authority and responsibility over their schools they have long sought. Hofmeister also says the new law will strengthen Oklahoma’s control over teacher evaluations, assessments, and accountability.

Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit attached to Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion 4th Marines (BLT 1/4) and Combat Logistics Battalion 15 (CLB-15) stand at “parade rest” during a 235th United States Marine Corps birthday ceremony.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Russell / U.S. Naval Forces, 7th Fleet Public Affairs

After serving in the U.S. military, many veterans use the benefits afforded under the GI Bill to pay for school. The opportunity to have education paid for is a major draw for some, but the military isn’t a good fit for everyone.

Jared Kuntz joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 2008 after trying a few different majors at the University of Oklahoma, and firefighter training, hoping he would find a career. Then the 2008 recession hit, the job prospects disappeared and the military seemed like his best option.

Few Regulations For Oklahoma Home-schoolers

Nov 30, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been significantly edited. Several uncorroborated claims were included in the original news piece and they have been removed. We deeply regret these claims were published in the original story prior to verification, specifically, a former homeschool student’s claim that she never finished algebra, her curriculum changed frequently, and her implication that she did not attend class for the required number of days. We regret these claims were in the original story and take responsibility for their inclusion.

OCPA Impact's Dave Bond answers reporters' questions during a November 12, 2015 press conference outside the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
Nate Robson / Oklahoma Watch

A conservative advocacy group is challenging University of Oklahoma President David Boren's plan to fund education through a one cent sales tax increase.

Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs Impact filed a formal protest with the State Supreme Court Thursday, saying Boren's petition is unconstitutional.

OCPA Impact is accusing Boren's group of logrolling four different subjects in to one petition-- and says that violates the Oklahoma Constitution's single subject rule.

Students at Colorado State University care for plants in a greenhouse on campus in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Colorado State University Photography

Close to 60,000 jobs are set to open up in agriculture, food and natural resource sectors each year for the next five years, according to a report from Purdue University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The American agriculture industry has a problem though; there are not enough grads to fill them. The report projects about two open jobs for every qualified graduate. That’s left the USDA, land grant universities and private industry scrambling to try and bridge the gap.

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