BY TED METSCHER
Thanks to the radical Republican legislative leaders in our Oklahoma Legislature who have cut taxes for the rich and given massive tax credits to their large contributors, the state of Oklahoma’s finances are in a big-time mess. Massive furloughs of state workers; laid-off teachers; rising college tuitions; destroyed needed services; dangerous prisons – all done in the name of drowning government, a part of their deadly plan.
When resources are scarce, humans sometimes start to eat their young. We are certainly seeing this tendency raising it ugly head in the campaign for State Question 744.
Having seen their budgets cut deeply, the leadership of the public schools of Oklahoma have put forth SQ 744. If passed this amendment will force the Legislature to raise the amount spent on each student, PreK-12, to the regional average.
In the past higher education and common education [PreK-12] have been on the same side. If common education cannot do an adequate job and send their students to colleges and universities well prepared, the higher learning institutions have a hard time doing their jobs and often gripe loudly.
Still, now, we hear of colleges and universities holding staff meetings encouraging staff to vote against 744. Some times their jobs are threatened. I have heard that some staff at the University of Oklahoma is telling students to vote against 744 with scares of rising tuition. This is particularly unethical.
While in Enid last week I was told that Oklahoma State University has sent a mass mailing to all of their alumni urging them to vote against 744.
We have read in the news that both presidents, OU’s David Boren and OSU’s Burns Hargis, have publically admonished the Yes 744 campaign for using a few common symbols of these top two universities in their TV ads – obviously an overt political act.
I hope the leadership of higher education are proud of their efforts. Higher education is well funded in Oklahoma while PreK-12 funding has slid to the bottom of the barrel. I guess higher education officials approve of eating our little children’s future.
– Ted Metscher lives in Norman