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The number of homeless youth in Oklahoma living without a parent or guardian increased by 29% in 2020 to 2022, one of the largest increases in the nation, according to a national report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Yasmeen Saadi, an intern at Oklahoma Watch, has been covering the lack of resources specifically for homeless young people in rural areas this summer. Her story, which published today, centers two young people in Woodward who are struggling with homelessness. Schools are part of the solution, but as her reporting shows, they can’t solve the issue alone.

I hope you’ll read her story.

Also, why is the state Department of Education so focused on Tulsa Public Schools? Last week, the state Board of Education approved the accreditation status of every school district except Tulsa. Superintendent of Schools Ryan Walters said he wanted to discuss Tulsa separately in August.

He says the school system, which is the state’s largest at 33,000 students, faces “significant and severe issues” and is “one of the worst performing schools in the state.” He says all possible actions are on the table, including revoking the district’s accreditation.

Some folks are saying Walters is laying the foundation to initiate a state takeover of the district, like in Houston, where the turnaround plan is attracting plenty of critics for eliminating librarians and turning school libraries into discipline centers, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Have a comment or story tip? Reach out by email or direct message.

— Jennifer Palmer

Recommended Reading

  • Superintendent Ryan Walters’ critics say his focus on Tulsa Public Schools has nothing to do with academics and everything to do with diversity and race. [The Oklahoman]
  • Moms for Liberty’s Tulsa chapter joined a Tulsa school board member in calling for the Tulsa Public Schools superintendent to resign. [Tulsa World]
  • How Oklahoma became ground zero in the war against the separation of church and state. [TIME Magazine]
  • Schools are now the leading target for ransomware attacks thanks to shoddy cybersecurity and a willingness to pay ransom demands. [The 74]

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