To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Friday, March 24, 2023


Walters Is Biggest Impediment To Recruiting, Retaining Teachers


Mr. Superintendent:

Teachers and parents, for the most part, are not buying what you are peddling. You won the election because of a letter behind your name on the ballot, not what purports to be between your ears.

Parents are not packing school halls fretting about “liberal indoctrination” and Critical Race Theory. They are dismayed at early grade classrooms with 25-plus students in them and too often the lack of a fully qualified teacher standing in front of them.

Curriculum matters, too. Librarians and other professionals are sick of your divisive rhetoric about them, their materials, books and qualifications.

Your loose language encourages lesser lights in the Legislature to name call.

Rep. Sherrie Conley, R-Newcastle, thought it was cute to compare librarians to cockroaches and then giggle about it on the House floor. A former teacher, she has been a huge disappointment as a lawmaker and that is partly my fault. I supported her.

Superintendent, your name calling is childish. Playground stuff from junior high school which you could recognize in your students but somehow miss it when you are looking in the mirror.

Put your budget together with details about money for classrooms, educators, support personnel, bus drivers, cooks, etc. Those folks are busting their asses to educate 750,000 youngsters in 525 public school systems.

They see you, if at all, in your car playing know-it-all when in fact they are doing it all for very little compensation.

Bottom line: You said recently that just throwing more money at schools is not the answer. How would you know?

Except for the days of strong support when HB 1017 did properly fund our educational system, money has been scarce and purposely so by the Republican-dominated Legislature. There’s $4 billion in the emergency fund, also known as the Rainy Day Fund.

It’s not just raining in our schools. It’s flooding. So instead of only bringing criticism, how about an ark filled with money, material, motivation and momentum? Those things are the answers to your question about recruiting and retaining teachers.

Your role as Campaign Critic-in-Chief is wearing more than a little thin. You got elected. Start acting like it.

Cal Hobson
Cal Hobson
Cal Hobson, a Lexington Democrat, served in the Oklahoma Legislature from 1978-2006, including one term as Senate President Pro Tempore.