Democrats Continue to Fight for Education
Republicans Meet Off-Site During Rally Events
[March 31, 2015 – OKLAHOMA CITY, OK] Yesterday, thousands of Oklahoma parents, teachers, students, and advocates gathered at the State Capitol to ask lawmakers to support public education. This year is critical because with a $611 million budget shortfall the Governor and legislators went on record early as expecting even further cuts to numerous state agencies, including public education. The Governor was not in attendance at the rally this year – same as last year. Republican legislators went so far as to hold their weekly caucus meeting off-site and later only 9 out of 112 were seen by the crowd of thousands on the Capitol steps; conversely all Democratic legislators were in attendance and engaged throughout the day.
One theme was more vital than any other from yesterday’s speakers: we cannot show up one day a year and ignore the other 364, especially the 110 days each spring while the legislature is in session. We must remember the actions of our legislators when it comes time at the ballot box, and most importantly we must exercise our right to vote and replace those that do not support us.
Wallace Collins, chair of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, pointed out that “the majority of parents and teachers are not plugged in to what is going on at the Capitol and how it impacts and devastates our public education system. Many have little to no interaction with their Representative or Senator and then are often misinformed or misled by politicians once they do talk with them – legislators like Senator Clark Jolley (R-Edmond) have a habit of distorting the truth, particularly on education. Democrats and fellow education advocates, cannot carry the responsibility of fighting for more than 680,000 students alone, not when the Republican party remains in the majority. We must hold Republicans accountable for their pattern of bad behavior. The fact is that the Republican party doesn’t not support public education nor have any respect for teachers in this state. It is up to the voters to make legislators answer for their bad voting record and then strip them of their job when the time comes.”
Students face overcrowded classrooms, districts are dealing with massive teacher shortages, and technology and classroom resources continue to be back-burner items for lack of funding. Then, last week it became blatantly obvious that lawmakers do not support teachers as they are now being stripped of their right to payroll deduct their union dues while over a hundred other payroll deductions will continue to be allowed.
After the busses got back on the highway and teachers and parents headed home to prepare for the next day of school, it was clear, if we keep voting based on social issues like abortion instead of supporting education and strong fiscal policies, then nothing will change but wondering how much worse it will get before Oklahoma wakes up.
About the Oklahoma Democratic Party
The mission of the Oklahoma Democratic Party is to represent the working people of Oklahoma and the best way to do that is to elect Democrats to all areas of government. Oklahoma Democrats are progressive and sensible. We are optimistic about the future, and we are determined to see Oklahoma’s traditional values upheld. More information about the Oklahoma Democratic Party can be found at www.okdlive.wpengine.com or by calling (405) 427-3366.