Someone should probably warn my co-workers not to send me things like this. Or maybe that’s why she did. She knew I would go off on something as insulting and infuriating as this (emphasis is my own).
SoonerPoll found 56.3 percent of likely voting Oklahomans support ESAs; only 26.8 percent are opposed. Among Republicans, 63 percent support ESAs, as do 45 percent of Democrats. Those findings are in line with numerous polls conducted on the issue.
So supporting ESAs could help Republicans win primary races and attract support from a sizable number of Democrats in a general election. ESA opponents are a distinct minority substantially composed of people who never vote Republican and never will (such as the most rabid teacher union members and their allies).
I’m guessing the great minds of the Oklahoman Editorial Board missed out on the reaction to Preston Doerflinger’s comments last week. They also seemed to have missed an even greater point to this.
ESAs are NOT a party issue! The reason why so many parents and educators in our state (despite what their ‘polls’ show) are not for them is because they do not want public education dollars diverted to private schools or homeschooling with virtually zero accountability. Not to mention the fact that the families these vouchers are claiming to help the most wouldn’t be able to afford to make up the difference to cover the cost of tuition, much less the cost of books, transportation, and other associated costs. Those that are pro-ESAs tend to either ignore or gloss over this point.
It doesn’t matter that it’s been approved by the Republican party playbook. What does matter is making sure that ALL students get a fully funded public education offered to them. Right now, we can’t even offer them that with all the budget cuts that our state has been issuing.
Our legislators weren’t cowards (as this opinion piece will lead some to believe) when they didn’t move forward with ESAs. They were listening (enough of them anyway) to their constituents. And their constituents were screaming, “NO!” as loudly as they could.
I know the battle over ESAs/vouchers is not over. I know it will come back to haunt us again. And we will have to fight that battle again. But for now…
Can we please try to finish out the rest of this year with what little funds our schools have available to them?
Can we please pass the Math & ELA standards that our Oklahoma educators, parents, and other community members have created and reviewed, so our teachers can be ready to implement them next year?
Can we please stop trying to
empower deregulate our public schools because some in the legislature don’t want to fully fund them?
And for the love of all that is good in this world, can we PLEASE just let our teachers teach?
Is this really too much to ask?