For those that don’t know me well (lucky ducks), I’m a list-maker. I make plans. I LIVE on plans. Last minute changes in plans or no plans when there should be a plan stresses me a bit. Even if the plan is no plan (like doing nothing on a Saturday afternoon), I’m fine with that. As long as I know what’s going on, I’m good.
That’s why when I see these bills, or so-called “plans”, put out on how to give teachers a raise, all I can muster up in terms of enthusiasm is a shoulder shrug.
There are already some who are optimistic due to the fact that at least there are “plans” being put forth. Some are probably ridiculously giddy and making plans themselves on what to do with their pay raise. I’m thankful for those that still have hope after all this time. We do need hopeful people out there.
So let me be your devil’s advocate. And believe me folks, the devil’s in the details (or lack thereof).
The reason I’m not do backflips and cartwheels down the street is because there are no details.
These aren’t plans. They’re statements.
Anyone can make statements.
“I want to lose 20 lbs.” That’s a statement. Okay, great. Glad you have a goal, but how will you accomplish this?
“I want to lose 20 lbs. and will do it by watching my caloric intake and exercising 3 times a week for 30 minutes.” THAT’S A PLAN.
So far, these bills, and other “plans” that have been discussed, don’t say how they are going to fund the pay raises. Maybe they will later on down the road. Maybe this is how all bills are supposed to start out (why that would be the case, I have no idea, but this is Oklahoma, and common sense be damned), and they’ll add to it later.
I’m growing tired of wasting energy on statements that go nowhere. I don’t want to get my hopes up just to have them dashed…AGAIN. I want something I can either get behind and advocate for, or be against and demand better. Otherwise, what’s the point?
I’m also a little tired of the pat on the head, the “I’m behind you!” statements, and then either nothing happens or they give us crap plans, such as a raise by an unsustainable source (one-time funds), a raise funded by taking away our health insurance or retirement, or a raise funded by how much we will save if we will only please consolidate districts and see just how much money there now will be.
Create a RELIABLE source of revenue and show me your plan. Then maybe, just maybe, I can begin to see just how much giving teachers a raise means to you.
Otherwise, quit trying to create this illusion that you’ve done something meaningful to help teachers. “I came up with HB or SB Blah-Blah, but it went nowhere. I even made it an emergency bill! I can’t help that it failed. At least I tried! I care about giving our teachers a raise and here’s the proof!”
Nope. It’s not enough. It never has been, and it never will be. And the more you give us just statements, the less we trust that you’re truly willing to help teachers get a raise.
Give me a plan, not a statement.