EDUCATION BOARD-COMMON CORE
Oklahoma board votes again to delay standards plan
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The State Board of Education has again voted to delay a formal plan for adopting new education standards in math and English amid opposition to the proposal by three education groups that represent public school boards and administrators from across Oklahoma.
The board voted 5-1 Wednesday to delay action on the plan designed to seek input from subject matter experts, parents and teachers. State Superintendent Janet Barresi was the lone dissenting vote and raised concerns that the education groups wanted to "hijack this process."
As part of the Legislature's repeal earlier this year of a set of standards in math and English known as Common Core, the board was directed to oversee the development of a new set of standards by 2016.
The next board meeting is Aug. 28.
Oklahoma schools get boost in per-pupil funding
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma schools are receiving their allocation for the new fiscal year, and districts are receiving an increase of about $38 per student.
The state Department of Education announced Wednesday it has released its allocations to school districts for the 2015 fiscal year.
The initial allocation is $3,077 per student, compared to $3,039 last year.
A budget agreement reached between Gov. Mary Fallin and the Oklahoma Legislature this year resulted in an $80 million increase in funding for common education.
State education officials say the total state appropriation to the per-pupil funding formula this year was nearly $1.9 billion.
EPA AWARD-UNIVERSITY OF TULSA
TU awarded nearly $920k to improve air quality
TULSA, Okla. (AP) - The University of Tulsa has been awarded nearly $920,000 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to study methods to improve indoor air quality in tribal areas and reduce asthma triggers in schools.
The award to the school was announced by the agency Wednesday.
Air quality information from the Cherokee Nation of northeast Oklahoma, the Nez Perce Tribe Reservation and surrounding area of west central Idaho and the Navajo Nation in the Shiprock, New Mexico, region, will be used to study the health impacts of climate change and indoor air pollution on tribal communities.
Tribal nations rely on many natural resources to maintain traditional diets, customs and languages. The research will identify the impacts of pollution and climate change, and influence decisions to reduce health risks.
Oklahoma Senate leader appoints 3 to Capitol panel
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The leader of the Oklahoma Senate has approved three members to a committee that will oversee a $120 million renovation of the state Capitol.
Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman announced the appointment of Republican Sens. Dan Newberry of Tulsa and Corey Brooks of Washington, along with Democrat Susan Paddack of Ada.
The three will serve on a nine-member, bipartisan committee created under a bill approved last session that authorizes a $120 million bond issue to pay for repairs to the nearly 100-year-old building.
House Speaker Jeff Hickman already has appointed Republican Reps. Mark McBride of Moore and Earl Sears of Bartlesville and Democrat R.C. Pruett of Antlers.
Gov. Mary Fallin previously named David Thompson of Edmond, Phil Kennedy of Lawton and Steve Mason of Oklahoma City to the panel.
OLD RATE CASE
State Supreme Court urged to take old rate case
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Supporters of a lawsuit over a 1989 Oklahoma Corporation Commission order setting telephone rates for a predecessor of AT&T have taken their argument to a state Supreme Court referee.
Attorney Andrew Waldron and Corporation Commissioner Bob Anthony want the court to send the case back to the commission to determine whether to order refunds to customers. The order lowered phone rates of what was then Southwestern Bell Telephone Company but did not include refunds for what was allegedly "excess revenue."
An AT&T attorney said the case was decided in 1992 when the state court ruled on an appeal that the money wasn't excess revenue, but the result of tax law changes.
The referee will submit a report to the court, which will then decide whether to take the case.
CHICKASAW NATION-COMMUNITY CENTER
Tribe opens Ardmore community center
ARDMORE, Okla. (AP) - The Chickasaw nation has marked the opening of its new community center in Ardmore.
Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby (AN'-uh-tub-ee) joined local officials Wednesday in a ceremony to mark the opening of the 15,000 square foot center, which is equipped with a catering kitchen for large events and a family-style kitchen for smaller gatherings.
A large banquet room, among other amenities, features an elevated stage, dressing room and sound booth designed to serve as a venue for a variety of events
The community center will be available for use by tribal citizens and their families for events such as family reunions, weddings, birthdays, baby showers, conferences, training and meetings.
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