I admire the teaching profession, it takes a special person to desire to help another person learn and truly be concerned when they see the difficulty a child has in grasping the concept. Some of the best teachers have discovered a way to make learning fun. In the state of Oklahoma, teachers have been underpaid for many years. They have utilized their First Amendment right to march on the capital for education reform improvement in the education system and now for an increase in teachers’ pay. While I agree totally that they need an increase in salary both in starting salary for a new teacher as well as an increase in salary and benefits for our veteran teachers, I do not believe that continuing with plans for a walk out after the legislature has finally worked and done their job to fund a raise is appropriate. To have the president of the OEA publicly state that the demands given the legislature were not all met, gives the impression that they are more interested in getting their way than performing their duty. I will reiterate that I am not against raising the pay of those that are educators. The politicians in the legislature of the state of Oklahoma have for the past 40 years failed to do what they were elected to do. It’s been the last three sessions, with a decrease in revenue leaving a large hole in the budget and requiring cutbacks from all services they continue to spin their wheels and pass laws dealing with driving in the left lane, texting while driving, while procrastinating on fixing the fiscal problems. This is totally unacceptable. The legislature for the state of Oklahoma needs to use “A Daily Dose of Common Sense” when prioritizing their approach to legislation. Band-Aids and duct tape to fix recurring problems are also unacceptable. I asked that the teachers use that same “Dose of Common Sense” and accept the increase that is being worked on and not walk out if it passes. Politics today has become a haven for special interest groups. While our representatives tend to listen to these groups, they should be listening to the masses that elected them. This is not an uncommon problem in both state and federal legislators. It is time to get political parties and political agendas out of our government. Elected officials need to serve the people that elected them, not the PAC’s that funded their campaign. To be fiscally responsible and the funding of our education system reforms in all areas of the system must be addressed. Duplication and wasteful spending must be eliminated. Raises two elected officials should cease until those officials efficiently fix the problems with the state budget. We now enter the wait and see phase of the threatened walkout. Should the salary increase that is currently being worked on pass, it wouldn’t be ethical to continue with the Strike. Should they decide to continue with the walkout/strike, it would give the impression that they are just like all the other special interest groups. They would be more interested in getting what they want over the needs of all the people. Of course, this is just my humble opinion.