Tahlequah Daily Press

Online Exclusives

July 1, 2014

CareerTech earmarks funds for truck driving, oil work

OKLAHOMA CITY — A shortage of truck drivers and oil field workers in Oklahoma led state career education officials Thursday to set aside millions of dollars to train workers in those professions.

While the money – $1.1 million for truck driver training and $228,000 for oil field training – remained steady from last year, both programs were deemed critical enough that funds were earmarked for them in the $171.9 million CareerTech budget.

The Board of Career and Technology Education approved the budget Thursday.

“The need is still there, but we haven’t had the dollars there in Oklahoma to grow them (the programs),” said Jim Aulgur, chief financial officer of CareerTech.

CareerTech’s spending is program-based, unlike budgets for K-12 education that are more formula-driven, said CareerTech Director Robert Sommers.

Hired in April 2013, Sommers said this year’s budget is more transparent than in years past to give taxpayers a better sense of how money is spent and to set expectations for CareerTech programs.

Sommers, who also serves as Gov. Mary Fallin’s secretary of education and workforce development, said challenges to this year’s budget included healthcare costs that continue to “consume more and more dollars,” required payments into the teacher’s retirement fund, as well as decreasing the program’s reliance on unspent funds from the year before. He said CareerTech eliminated two of eight vacant positions to help the budget balance.

The Legislature kept CareerTech’s $138.9 million in funding from the state flat this year, except for a transfer of $750,000 from the Education Department that will allow it to take over adult general education programs.

CareerTech also receives $26.5 million from the federal government.

Board member Leo Baxter, of Lawton, questioned CareerTech’s $1.3 million marketing and customer relations budget during Thursday’s meeting. Baxter said he would like a better accounting of how that money is spent and wants to know how the marketing program is paying off.

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Online Exclusives
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    Here's a look at how much each school district in Oklahoma spent per pupil overall and the percentages it spent on administration in school year 2012-2013. Data is from the Oklahoma Office of Educational Quality and Accountability.

     

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    Here's a table showing what superintendents at each Oklahoma school district earned in 2013-2014, as recorded by the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
    Some totals are partial-year compensation because the superintendent took office during the fiscal year. Enrollment was not provided for some districts, so pay-per-student was not calculated. Total compensation per student is not intended as a definitive measure of whether someone is overpaid or underpaid, only as a starting point for comparing superintendent salaries among districts of all sizes.

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    July 23, 2014

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    Tahlequah Community Playhouse Inc. announced the line-up for its 41st season

    July 23, 2014

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    Tahlequah Main Street Association Inc. President Amy Yarnell Carter contacted downtown merchants to see who planned to be open for Third Thursday Art Walk and said the following businesses planned to be opened.

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  • Online poll results about Hobby Lobby decision

    The Daily Press polled its online readers asking if the agree with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to allow a private business (such as Hobby Lobby) to decline to offer certain types of insurance coverage (such as contraceptive birth control) to employees, based on the religious beliefs of the owners?

    July 11, 2014

  • SCOTUS decision on Hobby Lobby

    To read the balance of the full text of the Supreme Court’s decision, visit: http://www2.bloomberglaw.com/public/desktop/document/Burwell_v_Hobby_Lobby_Stores_Inc_No_13354_and_13356_US_June_30_20

    July 11, 2014

  • The history of Independent Retailer Month

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    July 10, 2014

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    July 8, 2014

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    Cherokee county restaurants are inspected four to two times a year on average for compliance with the state’s health code.
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Poll

Do you think "blue laws" related to Sunday alcohol sales in Oklahoma should be relaxed? Choose the option that most closely reflects your opinion.

Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars, and liquor stores should be open.
Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars only; liquor stores should stay closed.
Liquor stores should be open Sundays, but drinks should not be served anywhere on Sundays.
The law should remain as it is now; liquor stores should be closed, and drinks should be served on Sundays according to county option.
No alcohol should be sold or served publicly on Sundays.
Undecided.
     View Results
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