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Investigative Journalism
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Surplus Funds at Statewide Virtual Charter School Board Discussed

August 21, 2017 - 1:14pm CDT

By Jay Chilton, CIJ OKLAHOMA CITY — Possible uses for $2.7 million in surplus funds are under consideration by the Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter School Board (SVCSB), the body which oversees the operation of Oklahoma’s statewide virtual charter schools. According to the SVCSB website, Oklahom... READ MORE

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Current and Former Prosecutors Shed Light on Legal Procedures

August 18, 2017 - 10:49am CDT

By Jay Chilton, CIJ Why would an Oklahoma district attorney file felony charges against a state official and then drop those charges, only to declare that the charges could be refiled at a later date? Does this mean the official should not have been charged in the first place? Does it indicate that... READ MORE

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Oklahoma Supreme Court Hears Arguments Over Authority of SQ 640

August 9, 2017 - 2:56pm CDT

By Jay Chilton, CIJ OKLAHOMA CITY―Eight Oklahoma Supreme Court Justices sat before more than 100 legislators, reporters, lawyers, and concerned citizens on Tuesday, with hundreds more in the state Capitol watching a broadcast of the proceedings. In the courtroom, the Justices listened to attorneys ... READ MORE

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Prior to Preliminary Hearing, DA Drops Hofmeister Charges, For Now

August 9, 2017 - 9:51am CDT

By Jay Chilton, CIJ Oklahoma’s superintendent of public instruction is at least temporarily free of a prosecution threat and can focus instead on her 2018 reelection campaign. On Aug. 1, Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater moved to dismiss charges against Superintendent Joy Hofmeist... READ MORE

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Election Integrity Back on the Front Burner

August 2, 2017 - 9:00am CDT

By J. E. McReynolds A tug of war between President Donald J. Trump and his political opponents has centered in recent months on election integrity and claims of voter fraud. According to a recent report from the conservative Heritage Foundation, voter fraud isn’t the myth that it’s claimed to be by... READ MORE

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Federal Afterschool Program Has ‘Nothing to Show for It,' Russell Says

July 17, 2017 - 1:29pm CDT

By Jay Chilton, CIJ A multi-million-dollar federal education program, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) grants program, has “nothing to show for it,” U.S. Rep. Steve Russell says. Also, a review of 21st CCLC grant recipients’ assessment practices in the state showed that the p... READ MORE

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Griffin Touts Scholarships for Foster, Adopted Children

July 10, 2017 - 1:09pm CDT

By Jay Chilton, CIJ Parents, school choice activists, and legislators were lauded this month for passage of Senate Bill 301 during the 2017 Oklahoma legislative session. State Sen. AJ Griffin, R-Guthrie, delivered the plaudits during a July 6 meeting of the Oklahoma School Choice Coalition. ... READ MORE

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Oklahoma State Department of Education Seeks Grant Applicants for Ineffective Program

July 5, 2017 - 12:35pm CDT

A federal education program costing taxpayers more than $1 billion a year has produced no demonstrable benefit, according to multiple U.S. Department of Education reports. In some cases, the program has led to a measurable decline in student behavior ratings. Despite these findings, the Oklahoma St... READ MORE

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OU Regents Raise Tuition, Increase Salaries After Boren’s ‘Dead Last’ Claim

June 26, 2017 - 3:13pm CDT

In rapid-fire succession last week, University of Oklahoma officials lamented poor state funding for higher education, raised tuition for all students, and increased the pay for some faculty members by as much as 59 percent. “We face a very, very difficult situation,” OU President David Boren s... READ MORE

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Districts Happy with Four-Day Week, School Officials Say

June 22, 2017 - 1:04pm CDT

By Jay Chilton, CIJ Nearly 100 Oklahoma public school districts use a cumulative-hours-based schedule, allowing them to employ a four-day instructional week. The districts do this primarily to save money. But some are realizing benefits which they say are even more exciting than cost reduction.... READ MORE

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