Quotes of the Day
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“We really are at a tipping point. In addition to the five teachers we lost to Kansas last year, we have 12 teachers who are emergency certified. We are hiring people we wouldn’t have even interviewed just a few years ago because there aren’t more qualified applicants. Bottom line, that’s impacting kids and it’s below the standard of what’s expected in our community.”
– Chuck McCauley, Superintendent of Bartlesville Public Schools, on the possible teacher walkout being discussed around Oklahoma (Source)
“I don’t know that there’s an answer to handling uncertainty. Because right now it’s on the federal level as well as the state level, because every program that we’ve depended on on the federal level is in that same state of uncertainty.”
– Roger Knak, CEO and Administrator of Fairview Regional Medical Center, on the biggest problem facing rural hospitals in Oklahoma right now (Source)
“The costs of drug tests or whatever — it’s impossible for somebody who’s not middle class or above to be able to pay these costs and to stay current on probation. That’s the reason for the failure.”
-Oklahoma County Chief Public Defender Bob Ravitz, who said he thinks the No. 1 reason Oklahomans have their probation revoked is lack of money to pay court fees and other costs (Source).
“It sad to think an Oklahoma teacher with a family of four qualifies for food stamps; must work two or three part time jobs to make ends meet and cannot even afford to send their children to Oklahoma universities without putting themselves and their children in debt. By failing to invest in education you are condemning Oklahoma’s children to a substandard education that will impact them for a life time.”
– Thomas A. Pecore, Putnam City North High School teacher and soccer coach writing an open letter to the state Legislature (Source).
“Today our members are back at school doing their job and they expect nothing less of our legislators. If there’s a better plan, I expect to see it soon.”
– Alicia Priest, president of Oklahoma Education Association, encouraging the Legislature to keep trying to fund a plan to provide a teacher pay raise (Source)
“I don’t drive a nice car or have a fancy house, and I shop at thrift stores. I don’t need to live an extravagant life, but I’m just tired of living paycheck to paycheck.”
– Heidi Blackmon, a teacher from Tulsa who rallied in favor of new revenues for a teacher pay raise at the Capitol on Monday (Source)
“That’s less than half of what our budget cut has been for the last three years. Over the past three years, higher education has been cut over $250 million. Our request is not to restore that completely, but to restore funding in targeted areas.”
Glen D. Johnson, Chancellor of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, on the requested $128 million budget increase for higher education in FY 2019 (Source)
“Both of these are examples of legislation we see both in Oklahoma and around the country of trying to limit the number of people who can participate in our democracy. This is unique among advanced democracies. Most advanced democracies are trying to enlarge the number of people who are participating in democratic decision making.”
– ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel, on legislation filed this spring that would restrict voting for individuals convicted of drug crimes and require Oklahomans to present identification beyond what the state already requires before being able to vote (Source)