It has been whirlwind week. I sit here, waiting for my laundry to be finished, knowing I’ll be looking at my students again tomorrow morning and wondering how this week is going to go. We are on the cusp of something amazing. Those of you on my Facebook page know that I went to an event at Moore High School this weekend. Mark McBride, Mickey Dollens, Jason Dunnington, Cyndi Munson, Jacob Rosecrants, and Rhonda Baker were there, working across the aisle, talking to the people about the crisis in education and other topics that were brought up. A few bullet points for those who couldn’t be there:
~ There is currently no plan being discussed that will meet ALL of the OEA’s demands. The OEA is requesting $1.4 billion dollars and we were told that we’d be lucky to get $500 million.
~ They have been putting something together that is hopefully to be finalized tonight and put forward Monday at the Capitol. We have no details.
~ Mark McBride thinks the Republican caucus has too many gun bills and disagrees with the push to put guns in the hands of teachers.
~ SQ 640 is being discussed again, talking about taking it back to the people to vote on. Currently, it is the reason we have to have a 75% majority for tax increases. They are hoping to decrease that threshold to 68%, making raising revenue less impossible. They are also hoping that the Senate will add an amendment to require the same threshold of votes for cutting taxes as well. Call your senators and ask for this amendment. When/if it gets on the ballot, vote for it!!
~ SQ 795 has been approved by the State Supreme Court. This would raise the GPT by 5% on any wells that are currently at 2%. If they raise the GPT before then, it would raise it 5% ON TOP of that new rate.
~ They are looking at diversifying the Oklahoma economy by allowing hemp farms. Hemp would be a wonderful cash crop for the state – one acre of hemp could profit $1500, compared to the $120 per acre for wheat – this is a big deal. It’s also very easy to grow here and is a very versatile crop. Be on the lookout for legislation dealing with this.
~ There is a waiting list of over 8,000 individuals with special needs that need programs through DHS to help them be contributing citizens and as independent as possible. This waiting list is said to be for 12 years, but it is currently indefinite. An individual has to be put in crisis in order to get off the waiting list. There are people dying still on this list. The only time these programs are properly funded is when DHS is mandated by the legislature to fund it. The need is there for this mandate so our people can get the help they need.
If the legislature doesn’t come out with a plan in the next seven days, teachers will be at the Capitol next Monday in droves, instead of in our classrooms teaching. It doesn’t look good. Show your support of public education! This week, we’re doing the following:
Monday – Wear BLUE to support our students who are coping with lack of funding, which is creating huge class sizes, lack of resources, limited options in classes, etc
Tuesday – Wear RED to support Public Ed (like we do every Tuesday).
Wednesday – Wear YELLOW to show our optimism and hope that public education in Oklahoma has a better future.
Thursday – Wear GREEN to encourage proper funding for the future of our students and our state!
Friday – Wear BLACK to show how serious this issue is show our solidarity with educators across the state.