Thursday, March 29, 2007

OEA Lobby Day

More than 200 OEA teachers and support professionals spent the day at the Capitol for the 2007 OEA Lobby Day. Our members discussed the importance of continuing to move us to the regional average in salaries, retirement and insurance issues, and a number of teaching and learning issues. Meeting with Senator Richard Lerblanc are Shelly Beck, Stephanie Walker and Cattrina Gragg.

In the next photo, I'm pictured with Anson Shuman and Mary Mangham of Ardmore and Glenda Puett from Tulsa Union.

In the above photo with Senate Pro Tempore Mike Morgan are Linda Ogle, McCloud; Rosemarie Bushong, Shawnee; and Joyce Flowers, Kristy Jones and Jana Richardson from Meeker.

Some of our members attended Governor Henry's press conference to see what he was going to do with the GA Bill that was sent to him. The rumors around the Capitol were that he would veto everything except the supplemental funding for education and corrections, and before a packed "Blue Room" he announced his veto.

Governor Henry is committed to career teacher salaries and addressing the teacher's retirement shortfall. Both of these issues have been long time OEA goals for more than a decade. OEA has continued to lobby for these issues, but they've fallen on deaf ears in the past.

Last year, we lobbied against a bill that would take money from the school land fund because it was illegal. The 2006 Legislature ignored proposals by the Oklahoma Education Coalition and the Governor and were upset when we were able to defeat the bill. The Association is extremely proud of the effort and will continue to address the OTRS with proposals that won't take money from our schools through the school land trust.

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