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Teacher Hiring Devastated by Emergency ‘Common Sense Shortage’

By Greg Forster Oklahoma’s education establishment and click-addicted media benefit from public hysteria about a “teacher shortage” and “emergency certifications.” But the general consensus is that the empirical research does not find evidence of educational value—at all—to teacher certification re... READ MORE

Illinois—Not Kansas—Is a Cautionary Tale for Oklahoma Policymakers

A guided tour of a blue-state basket case In light of Oklahoma’s recent (and much overstated) budgetary woes, some are now pointing to Kansas’s recent fiscal experiment, which featured tax reductions in an attempt to boost economic opportunity, as some sort of cautionary tale for states failing to ... READ MORE

Rainy Day Fund Raid Was Unconstitutional

After draining all $240 million out of Oklahoma’s Constitutional Reserve Fund, Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger decided to ask the state Attorney General whether doing so was legal. Recently, the Oklahoma Attorney General issued an opinion that, with minor caveats, claims to legitimize Doerf... READ MORE

Contra Oklahomans’ Preference, State Government Continues to Grow

As chair of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee, Rep. Leslie Osborn was one of the legislature’s budget negotiators earlier this year. She used that position to make the case for a litany of tax increases, claiming that Oklahomans are “tired of us doing things the way we’ve always done t... READ MORE

Oklahoma’s Higher Education Spending Far Outstrips National Average

As we pointed out in these pages in October, Oklahoma’s higher education system employs far too many non-instructional workers relative to the national average. This bloated workforce drives up the cost of higher education, and a significant share of these costs falls on the shoulders of Oklahoma’s ... READ MORE

Oklahoma Voters Want Tax Dollars to Follow the Child

Nearly two in three Oklahoma voters support using tax dollars to choose the public or private school which best meets their child’s needs. That’s one of the findings in a survey commissioned by OCPA just as the new school year was getting under way. The statewide survey of 1,016 likely Oklahoma vot... READ MORE

Use TSET to Protect Vital Services

In the final hours of the 2017 legislative session, lawmakers desperate to find revenue passed Senate Bill 845 to impose a $1.50 per pack tax on cigarettes. (To get around constitutional limits on legislative power, they labeled the measure a “fee.”) The Oklahoma Supreme Court unanimously struck do... READ MORE