We are just shy of two weeks until election day! This election cycle is being called the midterms. There are many issues to be decided on 6 November 2018, we have several state questions, we have a race for the governorship of the state of Oklahoma, we have seats in both the state and U.S. Senate, the state and US House of Representatives. I am not going to get into a political discussion as to who to vote for who not to vote for. I’m not going to save what does to answer on the state questions! I am going to ask every Oklahoman to go to the polls between 7 AM and 7 PM on 6 November 2018, and exercise your privilege to vote. If you decide to stay home and not exercise your privilege, casting a ballot and voting for one of the candidates or the state questions then I say to you that is your choice but do not complain about the government or who was elected as you chose not to participate. I also ask all Oklahomans to be civil, respectful of others, and pleasant to the poll workers. We are classier and have better manners than some of the folks on the East Coast.
By exercising your privilege and casting a ballot. You have one more function to do. No matter who is elected to the office, they deserve respect.
In order to make changes and improve our education system and raise the bar so that teachers and educators, and support staff are paid an adequate wage for the job they do. We must use the system that is in place to achieve these goals. It does not take a strike, walkout, forceful demonstration to get the attention of the legislature. Instead of leaving the classroom. Why don’t we try staying in the classroom and teaching the students how to effectively communicate with their representatives in office. A successful letter writing campaign from all grades K-12 and all of the students in those grades and dumped on the floor of the Senate and the House of Representatives to prove what needs to be done would have more impact and gain more respect from the public, then to strike and be wishy-washy in your demands making you look like Oliver coming up to the headmaster with his bowl saying “please sir, and I have some more”! Solving the teachers inadequate pay will not happen overnight, it may take several years to finally be able to raise our standard pay higher than we are now and get ourselves into the top 10. What is more important getting a one time pay raise of six to $10,000 or raising the base pay of an entry-level educator, K-12 to to the rank of 15th Place, with a starting salary of $37,848 per year and an average salary of $48,670 per year. Those wages would be only the beginning. As the legislation would also allow for increases. The teachers pay package is just one of several packages that must be passed in order to fix our education system. When I was in school in the 50s 60s and 70s, families did not have to pay for items such as Kleenex, sanitizing wipes, notebook paper construction paper. All we were required to have or to have purchased was a number two pencil with an eraser and in elementary school. A big Chief tablet to write on. Teachers did not have to dig out of end of their pocket in order to decorate the room or provide the construction paper or the art supplies. We did not have school administrators making six figures a year and having all the perks of company car company phone get paid mileage and Per diem. The Board of Regents for higher Ed were also not making six figures a year. One of the things that I noticed when they passed House Bill 1017, which was supposed to give the teachers a raise and fix education was that the first thing it did was it raised the salaries of the Board of Regents of higher education, $167,000 a year. Oklahoma decided to devote a lottery to help fund education. So where does all that money go? It’s very simple $0.35 out of every dollar was to go to education majority of that money went to the Regents of higher education salary and the rest filtered down top to bottom. It was sad that the lottery was supposed to help fix education and all it did was raise the salaries of the Regents of Higher education and maybe a few professors in higher Education. It however, had little if any effect on K-12. It is interesting that we continue to raise tuition yet our schools are still in trouble and I’m not just speaking of about K-12 it’s taking more and more money to run colleges and universities.
I urge everyone to go vote on November 6, 2018. Make your vote count and live with your choices! But don’t stop there for the legislature is paid by us to work for us. And while teachers are ranked 47th in the nation for pay, our legislatures are ranked 15th in the nation for their salary!