Thursday, April 17, 2014

Oklahoma Republicans Have Cut More Than $200 Million from Education since 2008

Oklahomans need an accounting of what the Republican legislature has done with over $200M they have taken from education since 2008.  Where did they spend the money?  We have a right to know where over $200M has gone since it did not go to education for our children.

Oklahoma Policy Institute email this morning delivered the latest from Oklahoma Governor Fallin and the Oklahoma Legislature when it comes to education.  We have lived in five other states before coming to Oklahoma due to a transfer because of the BRAC Closure of Kelly AFB depot.  Not one of those states has the pathetic record on education as Oklahoma since the Republicans took total control of State Government in 2010 and before that the legislature in 2008 although Texas is striving to catch up with a Governor who has now gone hard right along with a legislature that has lost all common sense.

We chose to live in Norman, OK, which has an outstanding public school system and the absolute best Superintendent of Schools Joe Siano that I have ever seen anyplace we have lived.  We have a rainy day fund and a community that supports our schools.  We pass operating levies and bond issues because our school board never overreaches unless you are a Republican who always vote against anything the schools need with their 'smaller government' mantra.

First time I had a Republican tell me that the Bible needed taught in the Norman schools along with a Christian prayer every day, I had all I could do to keep from blasting them.  Instead I said we will just have to agree to disagree and was told to get out of the GOP if I support our schools because Republicans don't support public schools.  That said it all!

Sit here day after day and read the attacks on education by the Governor, State School Superintendent, and members of the Legislature as they don't see the need to fully fund both education and infrastructure. They are proud of themselves of their cuts to education and no raises for teachers which was the first hint that the vast majority Oklahoma Republican office holders are bought and paid for by wealthy donors and ALEC who is fronting for the Koch Bros.  Social issues have become a priority of the Oklahoma Legislature along with more tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy instead of fully funding education.  Some legislators now want to take money from infrastructure like roads and bridges when we have some of the worst in the Country to give more to education.  

Oklahoma Policy Institute which is a non-partisan has done an excellent job on tracking Education in Oklahoma which shows what the Governor, State School Superintendent,  and Legislature are doing in their attempts to destroy public education including our universities.  The GOP reaction is that OK Policy is liberal because they disagree with Republicans on the way they are handling education and other issues when they are telling it like it is without spin.

Latest Email from
This year Governor Fallin and legislators are pushing more tax cuts in Oklahoma, even as the state faces a $188 million budget shortfall and support for public schools has been cut more than $200 million since 2008. State lawmakers have justified their actions by claiming that tax cuts will boost the economy and create jobs. A new fact sheet from Oklahoma Policy Institute makes that case that investing in education is a much better proven strategy for growth and job creation.
The fact sheet shows that:
  • With few exceptions, the states where workers earn the highest wages are those with the most college graduates. And despite Oklahoma's recent economic successes, both our median wage and educational attainment are well below the national average.
  • The wage premium for a college degree has increased significantly since the 1990s and 1980s. Those with more education earn higher pay and have fewer periods of unemployment.
  • Oklahoma has made the largest cuts to K-12 funding in the nation, and state funding for higher education is down 26.2 percent after inflation since 2008. Oklahoma is consistently ranked near the bottom for education funding and teacher pay.
  • Education cuts put Oklahoma’s economic future at risk. Over the longer term, the cuts make it less likely that Oklahoma can develop the highly skilled workforce needed to compete in today’s global economy.
You can find more of our research and materials about education issues at

Click Here to sign up to get their daily emails with what is happening in State Government that affects all of us.  It is the best site I have found in any state we have lived to keep you up to date.  
A local democrat had a bet with me that education was going to be what drove me away from the GOP years ago.  He was right as I have always been a big proponent of public schools giving our children a good education based on facts not some junk science the hard right wants to teach in this State.  The very idea they want to bring religion into the public schools and make teachers teach the Bible which was in the GOP State Convention Platform at the last one I attended in 2010 sent me over the edge.  By the summer of 2011, I completely had it with Republicans in Oklahoma as they fully adopted the ALEC and the Tea Party agenda which many of us know is the Koch Bros Agenda. Seems money talks with Republicans today who put donors over what is good for the residents of their states.  They have lost all empathy for those less fortunate.

Just don't understand any state that would not want their children educated.  Is it because they want to be able to control what they think?  You can do that better with an uneducated populace.  Whatever the reason, I am embarrassed to ever have been a Republican in Oklahoma not to mention an active Republican.  One of the people I met said he was a conservative in Texas and a liberal in Oklahoma. Now we would both be liberals in the GOP in Texas which has gone hard right since we both lived there.  The hard right I thought was only in Oklahoma has gone all over the Country with this anti-public education and pro-charter schools owned by hedge fund and GOP donors.  Not hard to figure out what they are up to and must be stopped in November 2014 by everyone who values education for our children getting out to vote to send the neanderthals to the unemployment line.

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