Oklahoma teachers walk out, sensing weakness from GOP legislators who caved on taxing the oil industry


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/03/30/bankrupt-in-every-sense.html


Yes. Yes of course it is.

And its “leaders” are doing so because they’re
selfish, greedy assholes.


I’m a horrible person, because I really want to see how the various news outlets will reveal their interests in the ways they cover (or completely ignore) this story. I just hate that the grist for this particular mill are thousands of teachers and students.


TGOP chickens are coming home to roost.


“So when the GOP-dominated legislature finally caved and sent a bill to the governor’s desk that would have given a substantial pay-hike to teachers by taxing the oil and gas industry, the self-organized rank and file decided to go for the brass ring: they’re going to walk out on Monday anyway, and they’re vowing to stay out until the whole of Oklahoma’s public sector gets economic justice.”


They probably saw what happened in WV, where the teachers’ pay raise was matched with a cut to social spending, and decided that wasn’t going to happen again.


I find the neglect of the public education issue so incredibly frustrating.

The GOP is against immigrants and visas but businesses are starving for skilled workers and want more visas to bring in “foreigners”, Why don’t we have these skilled workers here? We’ve been neglecting our education system for decades.

I don’t remember which of the Bush’s it was but they came up with this idiotic scheme where school funding should be based on better performing schools getting more money. In fact, it’s the poorer performing schools that would benefit most from increased funding.

I hate that politicians are so short-sighted.


No kidding - and then the better performing schools are often in wealthy neighborhoods, where the residents supplement the school budget with fund raising and gifts. They are literally able to craft a private school-like experience for their kids through private enrichment, while actually piggybacking it on the public school system. I mean why pay for your privilege when you can get the public school to carry a good deal of it for you.


Not a peep from Breitbart about anything Oklahoma teacher related (unless it has to do with an attractive teacher having sex with her student).

I have been enjoying the comments on this article, though:


Don’t forget that Colorado is also switching to a 4-day school week. This despite the state making loads of money off legal marijuana sales and some of that being used to fund schools, which i find strange… can anyone fill in the blanks for me? Why is there a shortfall in funding?


" The new schedule follows the district’s six failed attempts to get more money through bond elections."


Sounds like this particular district isn’t getting more money because… whatever.

also, it sounds like its very popular.



So Colorado district 27J is in Brighton which is a low-income area northeast of Denver. It’s on the edge of the city and surrounded by farms and warehouses (close to the airport). It is largely hispanic and ex-urban/rural which means a large percentage of residents are poorer. Moving to a 4 day school week is not surprising given the economic conditions of the area which are not sharing in the prosperity happening in the city center. Other school districts mentioned that are moving to 4 day weeks are also mostly rural and/or majority-minority.

The answer to your marijuana question though comes halfway down in the VOX story you linked:

Marijuana legalization can’t solve every budget problem. In total, Colorado’s cannabis taxes and fees amount to less than 1 percent of the state’s budget. When it comes to schools in particular, the Denver Post reported that school projects alone will cost $18 billion through 2018 — far more than the entire BEST program provides.

The reality is taxing pot is not the silver bullet that people have been lead to believe. The state’s funding is so far behind that pot taxes are just helping to keep things afloat. TABOR and other restrictions have strangled Colorado’s ability to fund our state appropriately. It’s been on a slow death-spiral for 20 years and the influx of new residents is making things worse, quickly - especially for roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

Remember too that just building/repairing schools is not enough. The real challenge comes in operating costs and hiring teachers. The district I live in is building new schools at a furious pace but the local community won’t raise taxes in order to fund their ongoing operation so new buildings sit empty. Marijuana taxes cannot be used for these purposes and many cities still do not allow recreational pot shops in spite of the state law.


You don’t give them enough credit for being ideologues. They don’t just want to spend the money that theoretically educates the children of Oklahoma on other things, they hate education for its own sake.


What has happened several times here is that a bill or referendum is introduced to increase school funding. It passes overwhelmingly. Then, the next legislative session, the school funding from the general fund is cut by that amount. So as citizens sign up for separate, supplemental funding for schools, the legislature redirects the same amount to pork barrel spending.


:slight_smile: Thanks for filling in the blanks guys


This is happening where I live too, as I work for our state library system. New buildings are a ‘one and done’ item that looks good on a legislator’s resume. Often, however, supporting the new libraries with staff and materials is not adequately funded.


“We don’t burn our draft cards down on Main Street
We like livin’ right, and bein’ free”

(attributed to some Okie, I think from the town of Muskogee.)


Probably the district has a large proportion of retirees who don’t want to pay taxes to educate “other people’s kids”. The extent of selfishness in America is mind-blowing. This is how first-world countries fail and become third world states.


I’ve seen it here also. My kids are grown and gone, but I always vote yes on increasing funding for education. Perhaps one day the schools will have budget surplus’s and the military will have to have bake sales.


Yeah, destroying the American public education system is something of a bipartisan effort occurring at both the state and federal level, but the post-Reagan GOP is carrying the banner and the Tea Party is playing fife and drums.

Hmmmm… didn’t Reagan shut down free college education for Californians when he was governator? There was some crazy old Jewish guy wanted to bring back free college last election but I think somehow he got shut down, people didn’t want to vote for him or something.


The GOP logic, whether you agree with it or not, is per-pupil spending would go up if you removed the children of illegal immigrants.

The visa stuff, I don’t see as much except the xenophobic wing (which, you know … not tiny.)

Personally I don’t find a lot of value of trying to examine educational spending through the lens of productivity and marketable skills, etc … it’s what leads to the death of the arts and humanites, and I say this as someone who is currently and directly negatively affected by the lack of strong analytics and IT skills in a red state : )