Well, school is back in session,sort of. So who won the walkout? I suppose it depends on how you look at it. Teachers got some of what they ask for but they’ll still be working in overcrowded and in many cases rundown classrooms, buy their own supplies and in many cases work a part time job to make ends meet. Lawmakers and the Governor managed to walk away saying they found money for a teacher raise so they say they did their job. Course there was much more they could have done but there was big energy, the lobbyists and the budget shortage they created in the first place so they say their hands were tied. We just have to remember the knots were on the loose side.
Every time I hear them say their hands are tied I remember the old saying “you have to dance with those what brung you”.
The lobbyists came out all right of course, convincing lawmakers they could only go so far.
Any more and campaign contributions might be cut.
And what was it the Governor said about teachers, something about teenagers and new cars. Across the state the students are going back to the classrooms. That’s a win.
But it has been pretty clear lawmakers didn’t take to kindly to teachers trying to push them toward progress. One went so far as to say to a teacher, “If you’re not satisfied, change your profession.” Cold and uncaring and missing the point all together. Well sir, something kind of interesting has happened. It seems Oklahoma has seen a record number of people enter the process to run for house and senate seats. 794 people altogether. At this point we don’t know exactly how many are in education but we do know the numbers are significant. This has the potential to change a number of things. Not the least is the future of the capital gains tax.
If enough educators are elected there is a chance our teachers might finally get the state support they need. There is also a chance we would stop losing good teachers to better paying, neighboring states. There is also a chance we could see Oklahoma leave the bottom of the list, in terms of support for education.
There is a chance since we may have gone from “walk out” to “kick out”.
I’m Sam Jones and that’s my perspective.