Gov. Kevin Stitt used his first State of the State address to call for an additional pay raise for teachers, a more modernized state government and greater control over state agency leaders’ employment.
What was absent, however, might be as important as what was included.
A temporary measure allowing schools to exceed class-size limits without financial penalties will automatically end in five months unless the Legislature acts this session. But none of the solutions are ideal, placing policymakers in a bind.
Fifth-graders would become middle-school students under an Oklahoma City Public Schools proposal unveiled recently. Some parents are concerned about the change, and research is scant regarding the benefit to children of having them start middle school sooner.
The first legislative session since the teacher walkout ended will convene Feb. 4, and education is likely to be a prominent theme. But proposed bills go beyond teacher pay and school funding. Here are several of the bills Oklahoma Watch is tracking.
State officials have issued 2,852 emergency teaching certificates from June through December for the 2018-19 school year. Find out how many emergency certified teachers were approved for your school district or school.
Oklahoma schools are holding back thousands of students a year in K-2 grades, partly because of the law requiring retention of third graders who aren’t reading-proficient, an analysis by Oklahoma Watch found. According to data, the state’s retention rate in those early grades is second highest in the nation. Retention can have long-term negative effects, researchers say.
The founders of Epic Virtual Charter School donated at least $145,000 total to dozens of candidates in this year’s elections. The donations outpaced those from the Oklahoma Education Association PAC and have come amid continuing dramatic growth in enrollment at the online school.
School letter-grade report cards are coming back after a two-year hiatus, but with a different focus and some changes in how metrics are calculated. One pending change is a downplaying of the overall letter grade on the report cards to be displayed on the state’s website.