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More than 600,000 Oklahomans on Medicaid are now seeing their care coordinated by private insurance companies. Proponents say the change incentivizes preventative care, and its rollout has been going well. But, it has caused problems for some Oklahomans on Medicaid and smaller providers. Mentioned in this episode: Social Media tags…
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Statewide, Oklahoma public schools are experiencing a shortage of bus drivers — and they’re struggling to adapt. StateImpact analyzed every public school district in Oklahoma and found that of the 400-plus schools with hiring listings accessible on their websites or that answered a superintendent survey, over 40% showed open driver positions. About…
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Most of Oklahoma’s Medicaid population is transitioning to managed care. This means that instead of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority paying providers directly, it’s paying private companies to coordinate some enrollees’ care. Proponents say the new system incentivizes better preventative care, which could cost the state less in the long run. Ment…
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As a crisis continues on the U.S. Southern Border, Oklahoma lawmakers are among counterparts from about a dozen states taking things into their own hands. For StateImpact, Lionel Ramos reports on their efforts and the backlash they face from immigrant communities. Mentioned in this episode: Social Media tags…
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In Tulsa, there are about 450 after-school programs at risk of shrinking to just 75 once ESSER funds are gone. One of those programs is an after-school gardening club at Tulsa Public Schools' Eugene Field Elementary. There, each participant gets a garden box to plan, decorate, plant and harvest from throughout the school year. Schools across the co…
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Lawmakers are at the halfway point in this year’s legislative session, and just a fraction of the education bills filed at the top of the session have survived big legislative deadlines. StateImpact’s Beth Wallis spoke with Oklahoma Voice education reporter Nuria Martinez-Keel about the bills that still remain on the legislature’s radar. Mentioned …
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School support staff received a statewide pay raise after the 2018 Oklahoma Teacher Walkout, but while teacher pay remains a major legislative priority, support staff pay hasn’t. StateImpact’s Beth Wallis reports many paraprofessionals, who often provide critical support to students with disabilities, live paycheck to paycheck.…
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An Oklahoma Watch investigation last year revealed a pervasive culture of harassment at an elite Oklahoma high school. StateImpact’s Beth Wallis spoke with Jennifer Palmer, the reporter behind the story, about a recent update: the agency responsible for addressing those issues failed to perform required inspections for 16 years.…
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The Department of Education overpaid at least $290,000 in teacher bonuses and is working to claw back the money mere months after it was distributed. Nine teachers have been issued demands for repayment, and five additional teachers are under review.Av OPMX
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No district in Oklahoma is under the State Board of Education’s microscope quite like Tulsa Public Schools. StateImpact’s Beth Wallis and OPMX’s Max Bryan have this update on how TPS’ state-mandated improvement plan is going so far and the work that lies ahead.Av OPMX
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Monarch butterflies, like many insects and birds, migrate twice a year, in the spring and in the fall. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, before the weather gets cold, monarchs travel over two thousand miles from North America to central Mexico to hibernate.Av OPMX
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Earlier this month, State Superintendent Ryan Walters announced a partnership with conservative nonprofit media group, PragerU. Existing PragerU Kids content now populates the state’s social studies website, and Walters says PragerU and the State Department of Education are collaborating on an Oklahoma-specific curriculum. So what is PragerU? State…
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StateImpact Oklahoma’s health coverage informed listeners through the COVID-19 pandemic, the state’s voter-mandated expansion of Medicaid, and the opioid epidemic. StateImpact managing editor Logan Layden introduces us to Jillian Taylor, the new reporter continuing the work to tell health stories that impact you, your community and the entire state…
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Tulsa’s North Peoria Church of Christ used to call Greenwood home. That was before I-244 displaced it and cut through historic Black Wall Street. StateImpact’s Britny Cordera talked with State Rep. Regina Goodwin, who represents the area and attends the church, about its legacy and a planning grant to study the removal of the expressway.…
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Next Thursday, the State Board of Education will consider changing the accreditation status of the state’s largest school district, Tulsa Public Schools. This comes after over a year of remarks from State Superintendent Ryan Walters targeting the district. StateImpact’s Beth Wallis and Public Radio Tulsa's Max Bryan break down what’s behind the bat…
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Rebecca Jim owns a mile and a half acreage just north of Vinita, Oklahoma, at the northern edge of the Cherokee Nation. She inherited this land from her family who used to ranch cattle here. She said her land is longer than it is wide, perfect for bringing back prairie chickens. She is turning two fields on the land into prairies to bring back prai…
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Signing bonuses of as much as $50,000 are what Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters said is needed to attract new and retired teachers to the classroom.That’s also what makes his new bonus plan a risky policy. StateImpact's Beth Wallis teamed up with Oklahoma Watch education reporter Jennifer Palmer for this story.…
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The governor and the Legislature have been at odds over the state’s Medicaid agency, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority. That fight came to a head last week, when the Senate booted the agency director from his Secretary of Health position. StateImpact’s Catherine Sweeney talks with Tres Savage, the editor of nonprofit outlet NonDoc, about what led …
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Run. Hide. Fight. Those were the words that ended the first of several text updates from OU’s emergency alert system on the night of April 7. The Norman Police Department had received calls that appeared to be coming from OU’s campus. The caller told police there was a shooting at the Bizzell Memorial Library and that one of the caller’s friends ha…
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The state ranks 46th in the nation for nurses per capita, and of course, the pandemic has only made that worse. But all along, one of the major contributing factors to that shortage has been nursing school. There are a finite number of slots offered, and Oklahoma hasn’t had enough. Why? It’s complicated.…
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Even though funding measures advocated for by 2018 Oklahoma Teacher Walkout participants were stymied largely by Republican lawmakers, Oklahoma’s GOP is now authoring record-level education funding measures that include teacher raises, along with a slew of labor rights bills for educators. But the funding bills are far from a done deal — in fact, d…
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Oklahoma offers pregnant residents special Medicaid coverage. That coverage used to last only 60 days after delivery, but under a new policy, that coverage will run for a full year instead. StateImpact’s Logan Layden and Catherine Sweeney discuss how the policy will affect thousands of new parents in Oklahoma.…
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House Bill 2177 is making its way through the statehouse. It purports to ban gender-affirming care for children and teens in Oklahoma. Supporters say children and teens aren’t equipped to make life-altering health decisions for themselves. One provision says no health facility receiving state funds can administer gender-affirming care to anyone of …
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Biomarker testing is a tool that doctors use to get a clearer picture of a medical problem — often cancer. Providers and patients say it can be difficult to get insurance companies to cover it. Oklahoma lawmakers are working to change that.Av OPMX
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