Claremore Daily Progress

Our View

April 7, 2014

Public Education:  The vine must be watered


Monday’s rally for public education was the single most exciting event I’ve had the opportunity to experience in my 10 years in the legislature.  
But the crowning moment of the rally came at its opening, when over 25,000 educators, unified in spirit and purpose, recited the Pledge of Allegiance.  For me it brought back the beautiful sound of my own beloved teachers who led my classes in the pledge, multiplied by over 25,000.  
It was emotional to stand on the south steps of the Capitol and feel the energy build from out of the crowd and boom toward the building and upward into the sky.
Over 100 educators and education supporters made the trek from House District 8.  In fact, there were 11 educators present who have taught my own children at some point in their lives.  The rally reinforced my personal resolve to support public education. And that support is more than a pat on the head with empty political speech.
While we all agree money can’t fix every problem, not having enough money sure can create problems.  Things like larger class sizes and more unfunded mandates.  
And Robbing Peter to pay Paul is unacceptable.  We should not take money away from our transportation program, or any other core service, to fund education.  That would be a continuation of the intellectually dishonest discourse on education funding that has become the norm at the Capitol.  Instead, legislators should do the courageous thing and vote NO on the tax cut proposals still alive in the legislature.  Education cannot be properly funded if we remove upwards of $200 million from our state budget that, for education, is already nearly $200 million less than it was in 2008.
Education supporters in this state can no longer accept “warm fuzzies” from their elected policymakers.  Public Education is either a priority or it’s not.  No excuses.   Until voters view education funding as a moral issue and hold legislators accountable for causing harm the status quo will remain and our public education system will be left to wither on the vine.
Ben Sherrer is state representative for District 8.


Text Only
Our View
  • randyc3-28-12web.jpg Primary election reflections

    As I was driving home from Claremore late Tuesday night, I heard the Eagles’ classic — “I’ve got a peaceful easy feeling....”  — playing on the radio.

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • BAILEYDABNEY8-2009.tif DA primary election crucial

    Tuesday’s Republican Primary for District Attorney of Rogers, Craig and Mayes counties is, by far, the most critical race on the ballot. The prolonged clash between the DA’s office and local law enforcement agencies has disrupted the once harmonious local justice system.

    June 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Burrage, sean.tiff Senate review by Sean Burrage

    Hailey Mathis is studying political science and history at the University of Oklahoma. She’s one of a very select group of college students each year who have the opportunity to learn about government and public service through an internship at the State Senate.  

    April 4, 2011 1 Photo

  • Inhofe-Jim-colorcmyk.jpg State, local voice is pivotal in education

    For many years at Edison High School in Tulsa, Okla., my wife, Kay, dedicated her life to teaching and mentoring young students, never knowing that in the years to come, two of our children would follow in their mother’s footsteps, building classrooms of their own and impacting the lives of so many young people.

    June 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Randy Cowling D-Day heroes are never forgotten

    Without a second thought, they answered the call to serve.

    June 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • Senate Review

    A couple of weeks ago, I shared information about the Reading Sufficiency Act (RSA), a measure approved in 2011 requiring a reading test at the end of the third-grade year to make sure each child was reading at grade-level. 

    May 12, 2014

  • GovFallin-at-RSUweb.jpg In death penalty debate, remember the victims

    Last week, the state of Oklahoma conducted the lawful execution of Clayton Lockett, a man who was convicted of first degree burglary, assault with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping, robbery by force and fear, forcible oral sodomy, rape and first degree murder.

    May 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • Veto pen

     House attention last week was focused on conference committees and on the slew of bills the governor vetoed.

    May 6, 2014

  • Kim Dabney Different not Less

    What other childhood epidemic has received so little attention? April’s Autism “Awareness” month is almost over but nothing has changed.  

    April 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Senate Review

    April 15th was the deadline for filing taxes.  I’m certain it’s no one’s favorite time of year, but here’s something that may help give a little perspective—at least as far as state taxes go.  

    April 21, 2014