When I look into the eyes of my students I see hope. I see future performers, artists, teachers, doctors, and lawyers. They deserve the best education in the world. Each day my colleagues and I fight do just that, provide the best education in world. We do this because we love this, and all we ask, is for you to show us the same dedication.
We deserve better. Our students deserve better and our state deserves better. Being 49th in the nation on per student spending, it isn't okay. We deserve better.
We have been told that sacrifices must be made, but why must these sacrifices be made at the price of children? My question to you is have you been to the classrooms of the teachers in your districts? Have you spent time in the schools that make up your districts? You will see that what we do is so valuable. Oklahoma has some of the finest educators I know, we should be funding education to reflect this very fact. You will see that sacrifices should not be made at the expense of our children.
We deserve better.
ESAs are not the answer. You want the best schools in America. Fund them. Pour in your resources. Draw teachers into this state. Make Oklahoma the place that teachers want to come to teach. Please don't take money from public education and funnel it into private education.
I am not a native Oklahoman. I am from Arkansas, but I have fallen in love with this state and with it's people. More importantly, I believe in teachers and students in this state.
I believe in hope. I believe in love. I believe in the future. So please when you are voting this session, remember the countless children, parents, teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, counselors, secretaries, cooks, custodians, bus drivers, maintenance workers, and the like. Remember us. We aren't asking for the world, but we are asking for respect, for dignity, for the ability to do above and beyond what is best for our students.