The City Sentinel
Posts tagged as: OCPA

Parental demand may change school choice landscape

Ray Carter, Center for Independent Journalism The pandemic-related decision to provide online-only instruction at 7.5 percent of Oklahoma school districts, rather than in-class teaching, has generated a fierce backlash from parents. Many families are demanding greater school choice, ranging from the simple opportunity to choose either in-person or virtual education to endorsing the use of […]

Teacher numbers decline despite pay raises

Ray Carter, In 2018, lawmakers voted to raise taxes by roughly $600 million with a significant share of that money going to teacher pay raises, and then voted to raise teacher pay again in 2019. Over those two years, teacher salaries increased by an average $7,400 apiece. Lawmakers argued the pay raises would eliminate […]

Slave-owning past remains problem for Choctaws

Ray Carter, OCPA Center for Independent Journalism The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, whose members owned Black slaves and fought on the side of the Confederacy in the Civil War, is now opposing federal efforts to require that descendants of the tribe’s former slaves, called Freedmen, be given promised rights before the tribe can receive federal […]

Jonathan Small statement on ‘McGirt v. Oklahoma’ court decision   Responding to Thursday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma, Jonathan Small, president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, issued the following statement: “This week’s Court ruling reminds us that, in times like we’re living in today, it’s more important than ever that we all remain united for Oklahoma. “The […]

BREAKING: State Question 805 gets strong affirmation in new study from OCPA

Patrick B. McGuigan   Oklahoma’s leading free market “think tank” – the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) –  has affirmed the focus and purpose of State Question 805, a qualified state constitutional citizen initiative awaiting a place on one of the remaining possible 2020 election ballots Trent England, executive vice president for OCPA, said […]

Schools disagree on definition of ‘significant medical condition’

Ray Carter, OCPA Center for Independent Journalism   Under Oklahoma’s school grading system, a measure of “chronic absenteeism” is one of the factors included in the calculation of schools’ A-F grades on state report cards. However, exceptions are allowed for students with significant qualifying medical conditions that result in long absences. In the 2017-2018 and […]

Schools’ Lobbying raises open-records concerns

  Ray Carter, OCPA Center for Independent Journalism   During the 2018-2019 school year, four public school districts in Oklahoma hired contract lobbyists. In addition to raising concerns about government accountability and indirect funneling of taxpayer dollars to political campaigns, schools’ use of contract lobbyists may also reduce government transparency and sidestep open-records laws. Under […]

BREAKING ANALYSIS: Expert says gambling compacts need to better address addiction

Ray Carter, Center for Independent Journalism   The debate over renegotiation of Oklahoma’s gaming compacts with tribal governments has centered on the rates paid by tribes and the impact of renegotiation on state-tribal relations. But some officials say those discussions are overlooking another important factor. “In all of this conversation, no one has mentioned problem […]

Tribal stances on gaming-fee increase contrast with past tax-increase position

  Ray Carter, OCPA Center for Independent Journalism   In 2018, officials with the Chickasaw Nation, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, and Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma were among those endorsing the “Step Up Oklahoma” plan, which ultimately resulted in legislation that sought nearly $600 million in annual tax increases, including increased taxes on Oklahoma drivers’ purchases […]

Oklahomans paying to educate ‘ghost students’ in numerous districts

By Ray Carter   When news broke that the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation had filed a search warrant accusing Epic Charter Schools of receiving state funding for “ghost students” who did not attend school through the online provider and, in one case, had even left the state the prior year, it understandably drew concern […]

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