, Muskogee, OK

September 25, 2012

THE PEOPLE SPEAK — Send Democrats back to Capitol

— Oklahoma education has taken a big hit the last couple of years under the new Republican administration. We are 49th in the nation for funding for our schools. Oklahoma gave deep cuts to schools. Only Alabama and Arizona cut their school budget more. This has resulted in fewer teachers and more students in each classroom. Some Tulsa area schools took private donations in order to hire teachers to fill their classrooms. It seems that teachers are frustrated in trying to implement the State Department of Education’s ill conceived curriculum. Quote: “Like flying a plane as it is being built.” (Tulsa World, Sept. 14, 2012) Shame on Oklahoma!

Shall we turn our heads and look the other way? Oklahoma has more than 600 million (half billion) dollars in the rainy day fund. Is this being saved to justify reducing the state income tax for Oklahoma’s wealthiest residents?

Oklahoma is first or near first in so many things. It seems to be a tradition although not all creditable. Almost a third of Oklahoma school students drop out before graduation. We are first in the nation for no health insurance, incarceration of women, eighth for teen pregnancy and fourth for divorce. For suicide we rank 13th and for church attendance, we rank first. What is wrong with this picture?

Oklahoma DEQ reported high levels of human and animal feces and algae in our lakes, rivers and streams. These bodies of water are not even safe to swim in. Where do we get our drinking water? The Illinois River ran clear several years ago, but not now. For shame, where are our values? Oklahoma can do better, come back Drew Edmondson. Can we afford to cut taxes now? It looks like the Republicans are having a hard time governing. I think it’s time to send the Democrats back to the Capitol. They surely have my vote.