Here is my take on the whole education funding and teacher raise business. We are upside down. We look to the lottery, casino fees, and cigarette taxes to fund what is likely the most important priority in the state. I have no objection to these revenue-generating approaches. What I object to is that our top priority is not funded out of the general revenue and some lesser priority is required to rely upon these other approaches. We are upside down.
Our representatives don’t see this. They need to be replaced. Your vote matters, but there must be qualified candidates that are also unselfish. They must seek the common good and have the leadership and administrative acumen to not only take care of education but to appropriate funds for other state functions in accordance with priorities that make sense.
Many teachers say they might jump into a race. It’s not the first time that Oklahoma educators said they would throw their hats in the ring. That’s great, but they must be able to not only stand for education but do the complete job. They must stand for reasoned priorities. Fixing education and leaving everything else a mess is not the answer. The criteria for the next slate of legislators must be unselfishness, the ability to prioritize, and a demonstrated desire for the good of the state. Watch out for any candidate that has a campaign heavily funded by any one group. The good of the whole state means a broad range of support during a campaign.
The state is in a mess and brinkmanship solutions are seldom the best, but that’s where we are now. November is almost here. Campaigns take more than just filing, which by the way is just a few days away and has only a short window.
Marching and shouting and posting all over social media can get attention but efficacy requires a candidate who is qualified, determined to do the best for the state, and organized. Many lawmakers are reelected because nobody gets their ducks in a row in time. If we want better education in our state, people of good character and proven leadership abilities need to file within the next few days.
That’s life in the 21st century. The time is now for replacing our complacent lawmakers.