OPINION articles

The Oklahoma spirit

“Anything can have happened in Oklahoma. Practically everything has.” I underlined those sentences when I read them because this is the state I know, love and have such hopes for. Not because it’s perfect ” probably precisely because it isn’t. It is still a work in progress. And we all get to participate in creating

Point: All standards left behind

A GOP-sponsored bill deregulating schools is a dangerous measure that could lower academic standards and increase class sizes in the state’s schools. Its stated intent is to empower school districts, but Senate Bill 834, sponsored by Sen. John Ford, R-Bartlesville, could ultimately reduce the quality of education received by the state’s children. Under the measure,

Counterpoint: Deregulating curriculum

Senate Bill 834, currently pending in the Oklahoma Legislature, would gradually exempt Oklahoma school districts from state mandates and allow local districts to manage, develop and take responsibility for the success and failure of their curriculum. Deregulation of Oklahoma’s public school curriculum is a good thing for Oklahoma teachers. Allowing teachers to teach based on


Virtually everyone seems to agree earmarks are part of the problem with the out-of-control spending in Washington. Yet, Oklahoma’s lawmakers tucked $68 million worth of earmarks into the recently approved $410 billion spending package. In total, the package contained nearly 9,000 earmarks worth more than nearly $8 billion. The United States Office of Management and

Office rotation

The Legislature is considering a joint resolution authored in the House by Rep. Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie, that would limit the terms of lieutenant governor, state auditor and inspector, attorney general, treasurer, commissioner of labor and insurance and superintendent of public instruction. Those serving in those offices would be limited to two terms, or eight years.

Defending religious liberty

A few years ago, France decided to ban the hijab, the Muslim head scarf, in its public schools. This set off a wave of protests by the country’s Muslim population. In recent years, religion has once again become a point of public disagreement and, at times, conflict in Europe.  At the time this decision about

Point: Wealthy surcharge

One part of the solution to Oklahoma’s budget dilemma is simple: The state government should raise taxes on the state’s wealthiest income earners. Obviously, this won’t happen for a variety of political reasons. But the fact income tax hikes or surcharges on the wealthy aren’t a major part of the state budget debate is fiscally

Autism reality check

My son looked at me with a furrowed brow as we heard the news on the radio that, once again, “Nick’s Law” was killed in committee. He asked, “When conservatives say they don’t like mandates, why is it we have to wear seatbelts and you are required to carry auto insurance?” I didn’t have an

Faithless science

Oklahomans who cared about maintaining science standards in schools paid close attention to a bill introduced by state Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso, which would have allowed teachers to discuss with their students the strengths and weaknesses of evolution, global warming and human cloning. Called the “Scientific Education and Academic Freedom Act,” Senate Bill 320 appeared

Commentary: Burn ban

The Oklahoma Legislature is once again taking up the issue of smoking in public places. State Sen. David Myers, R-Ponca City, has authored a bill that would ban smoking in most every bar and restaurant in Oklahoma. This comes just a short time after the 2003 state law went into effect banning smoking in restaurants

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