Home > Uncategorized > Oklahoma and Kansas Legislatures Awake… and I Fear it is Bad News for Public Education

Oklahoma and Kansas Legislatures Awake… and I Fear it is Bad News for Public Education

April 4, 2018

Diane Ravitch wrote several posts yesterday on the strikes in Oklahoma, Kentucky, and West Virginia. In each she rightfully excoriated he GOP/ALEC legislatures for their gutting of social programs, noted the irony that since these states were “right-to-work” they had no single union to deal with but rather a grassroots uprising that entailed dealing with multiple players, and praised the teachers for standing up to the economy we now have the reduces them to de facto “gig workers”. At the conclusion of one of the posts, she posed this question:

“Now that we know the bitter fruit of deep tax cuts year after year, will the public wake up?”

As I wrote in a comment I left, I’m afraid they won’t… and here’s why. According to two recent news reports, two legislatures have awakened, and I fear that may NOT be good news for those of us who oppose ALEC.

Oklahoma increased its education spending by 19.7%:

And Kansas decided to stop fighting the Supreme Court and add $500 million to school funding:

Supporters of public education can see through these increases. After all, a 19.7% increase SOUNDS good… but it is an increase on an exceedingly low baseline so it doesn’t begin to close the gap in funding in Oklahoma or raise the wages of school employees nearly enough. And I believe your readers are well aware of the shenanigans in Kansas…

But while supporters of public education can see through these increases, I can imagine the GOP legislators in those states pointing to the large percentages and dollars and using them to cultivate more resentment against the “greedy teachers”….

I hope I’m wrong… but I’ll be watching the news to see if I am.

 

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