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Investigative Journalism
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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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In Many Districts Moving to Four-Day Week, Superintendent Pay Has Increased

June 15, 2017 - 9:38am CDT

By Jay Chilton, CIJ To reduce spending, nearly 100 Oklahoma school districts have adopted four-day-a-week schedules. Nearly 50 more districts are considering the change for the next school year, according to a survey conducted by the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration and th... READ MORE

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Stroud Public Schools Not Waiting for Legislature to Raise Teacher Pay

May 15, 2017 - 8:43am CDT

By Jay Chilton, CIJ Teacher pay raises have been a hotly debated issue for several years at the Oklahoma state Capitol, with multiple legislators proposing various methods for funding the increase. Currently, House Bill 1114, a phased-in teacher pay raise bill by Rep. Michael Rogers, R-Broken Arrow... READ MORE

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Okmulgee Public School Teachers Drop OEA, Elect New Representative

May 8, 2017 - 3:09pm CDT

By Jay Chilton, CIJ On May 2 the certified teachers of Okmulgee Public Schools elected Professional Okmulgee Educators to serve as their new bargaining representative over the local affiliate of the Oklahoma Education Association (OEA). The vote was 52 to 32. “We won the election to decertify ... READ MORE

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CEO Identified in Hofmeister Complaint Was PAC Contributor

May 1, 2017 - 6:12pm CDT

By Jay Chilton, CIJ Bill Cameron is the CEO of the American Fidelity Corporation and its subsidiary, American Fidelity Assurance. The company was identified, but not charged, in the criminal case against state Superintendent Joy Hofmeister. Hofmeister and four other individuals face felony charges... READ MORE

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Individual Donors to Hofmeister’s 2018 Campaign Decline to Fund Legal Defense

May 1, 2017 - 3:18pm CDT

By Jay Chilton, CIJ State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister has been charged with five felony counts of conspiracy, collusion, and related campaign crimes allegedly committed during her 2014 run for office. In response to the expected cost associated with her defense, Hofmeister ... READ MORE

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