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Today In The News
Poll shows deep political frustration among teachers: A vast majority of public school teachers across the state have an unfavorable opinion of the state Legislature — 81 percent, according to SoonerPoll — which has some teachers seeing similarities between this year and 2014. “Before that election, I don’t think a lot of teachers were as engaged in the political process,” Jacob Rosecrants, an Oklahoma City teacher, said about a wave of frustration teachers had for then-state schools Superintendent Janet Barresi in 2014. Public school teachers across the state are projected to make up around 4.5 percent of the total electorate on Nov. 8, according to an analysis by SoonerPoll that compared registered voter lists with a list of certified teachers [NewsOK].
Amid Oklahoma Budget Cuts, Students Join Protests: Since 2008, the Oklahoma legislature has cut almost a quarter out of its per-pupil education spending. It’s the largest drop in the nation and has resulted in teacher layoffs, overcrowded classrooms, and a reduction in class offerings. We’ve written extensively about how the budget cuts have roiled state politics there, culminating this year in a ballot measure to raise the state’s sales tax and more than 40 teachers running for state office. Cassidy Coffey, a student at U.S. Grant High School in Oklahoma City, used social media to organize over a thousand students to walk out of school on May 16, 2016. In this video she tells us her story [Education Week].
After ho-hum year for state political contests, 2018 will be “transformational”: Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb will run for governor in 2018 and be the heavy favorite. Attorney General Scott Pruitt will either run against Lamb or try again for a seat in Congress. And a long list of current and would-be officeholders will try to replace Lamb and Pruitt. Those are the predictions of Oklahoma political experts polled by The Oklahoman with the promise of anonymity. A dozen elected officials, consultants and other campaign veterans — people who have run and won political races in Oklahoma — were asked to name the most likely candidates for the state’s highest offices two years from now [NewsOK].
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