In case you haven’t heard, Oklahoma teachers have had enough with the conditions of their classrooms and their salaries and they have something to say about it. They are just about done with the tom-foolery of our state legislature and their inability to properly fund education. On Monday schools districts (including ours) all over the state closed and the teachers descended on the state capitol. Tens of thousands of teachers, parents, and students showed up to let their public servants know that enough was enough.
According to my teacher friends who are spending their days at the capital, many legislatures are pushing back and telling them to get back in the classroom or go and get another job. The hard working teachers I know won’t stand for that type of behavior and are prepared to continue the walk out for as long as it takes for the state to properly fund education by meeting the demands of the union.
This walk out is about so much more than teachers salaries. That has been proven in the fact that last week a bill was passed that did increase teacher salaries. Not by as much as the union would want, but it was an increase. However, the bill did not fund schools in a way that would meet the needs of our children and bring Oklahoma up from the deplorable state it is in to an acceptable level of funding.
I have reached out to my representatives, one of which I know supports more funding, the other does not. I sent the following to my state senator and have yet to hear a reply.
Dear Senator Standridge –
I am a mother of two boys in the NPS system, I volunteer for my community through church and various organizations, I am the next President of Assistance League Norman, I am a past PTA President for my son’s elementary school, and I vote and live in your district.
I am writing to tell you that my husband and I fully support the teacher walk out and what they are trying to accomplish. It is your duty as a public servant to figure out how to fully fund not only the teacher’s salary (at a decent living wage) but fully fund public education. The state of public education in Oklahoma is shameful and we all should be doing our part to make sure that the future of our state is secure by providing a safe and solid education for our children.
Regardless of whether or not you prefer private or public education for your children, I hope you agree with me that education is the key to success in life. A successful and positive educational experience can lift a child out of a cycle of poverty where otherwise they might grow up and become a drain on society rather than contribute to the common good. Funding classrooms and qualified teachers shows our children that we believe in them and care about them. Outdated material, lack of resources, and over crowded classrooms sends a message that school is just a day care and a crappy one at that.
Recent numbers of high school dropout rates in Oklahoma show that when you lower funding per student, dropout rates go up. I’m sure you agree that once a student drops out of high school the odds are stacked against them. Unfortunately, those students will probably not become the productive citizens you would want for our state. Mr. Standridge – you will pay for those children one way or the other…now in public education, or later in the court system and jail or prison.
How would you prefer to pay?
- 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 4 Tbs softened shortening
- 1 egg, well beaten
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 4 Tbs. butter
- 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 3 ripe bananas
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add shortening mix together with a hand mixer until just incorporated.
- Mix together egg, milk, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture, beating until combined. Add sour cream and combine. Mash one ripe banana until smooth and fold into batter.
- Melt butter in a iron skillet. Add brown sugar and stir until melted. Remove from heat.
- Peel and slice two bananas and arrange in the butter/brown sugar. Pour batter over bananas. Bake in oven for 50 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Loosen cake from sides of pan and invert onto a cake plate.