Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Legislative Update: Be Aware & Make a Difference

Because of legislator short-sightedness, there is a tremendous lack of revenue to fund our schools. Because of this, the legislature is attempting to pass anything they can dealing with schools to look like they are addressing public education. Sadly, they aren't seriously taking into account the wishes and beliefs of Oklahomans and the impact these measures have on our kids, schools and teachers.

Charter district bill passes senate
We need you to express your opposition to Senate Bill 2100 that threatens your local association's right to negotiate a contract. The bill would allow the State Board of Education to establish a Charter District Pilot Program and create another level of bureaucracy. Ten school districts in Oklahoma could apply for the pilot program and function similar to charter schools. SB 2100 would allow school districts to:

*Not follow all state regulations, only a select few.

*Eliminate contract negotiations.

*Reduce standards for teacher certification.

*Eliminate due process.

This bill passed the senate and is headed to the house. It is up to you to slow the momentum of this very dangerous bill. Contact your house member to voice your opposition against this bill.

Tax credits and voucher bill passes senate

Senate Bill 2093 will provide a tax credit for any taxpayer who donates money to a scholarship program for low-income children to attend private schools. The bill would allow:

*Money for the tax credits to be taken from the state's general revenue fund, reducing the amount of money available for public education, further crippling our under-funded schools.

*Cherry-picking students to attend private schools while reducing funding for public schools is not the solution. Contact your local representative today to oppose this bill. The bill heads to the House.

Common education fund short $42 million

Please contact your legislators and encourage them to approve $42 million in supplemental funding immediately. Cuts to your local budget will be made this month if the funding is not received soon. Each district will have to compensate for the reduction in state aid.
Many districts have already suspended spending. What can your district afford to sacrifice? Call your senate and house member today.

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