Was it a waste of time when…

The last paragraph in an editorial located on NewsOk.com:

Rally or bust

Snow and ice meant two more days out of school this week for thousands of Oklahoma students, who now await word as to when those days will be made up. There is one date that won’t be used by many districts – Monday, March 31. That’s when administrators and teachers plan to head to Oklahoma City to rally state lawmakers for more spending on education. “We are absolutely not backing out” of the rally, said a spokesman for Tulsa Public Schools, because “it’s clear that we have to do something to get more attention for this issue.” What a crock. Common education funding is always a front-burner issue for lawmakers, even if administrators don’t agree with the size of the check that gets written each year. The rally will be a huge waste of time, particularly for students who should be in class learning something that day.

I really enjoy living in Oklahoma – the people are great, the weather is exciting, college football is awesome, the Thunder are amazing, we truly live in a great state.  But as a teacher, this state is getting very difficult to live in and its not because of the students, parents, and communities that support education.  Imagine working in an environment where your supervisor is always telling you that you were never good enough.  Where your supervisor is always telling you that everything you have been doing is wrong.  Recently there have been several comments made by political leaders and even a local newspaper (see above) that are not very supportive of education at all.  I know we are all entitled to share our opinions….well here are some of mine through a short history lesson (I am certified to teach American History, Oklahoma History and World History):

    • The citizens of the United States of America are guaranteed by the Constitution to assemble peacefully.  This is a glorious part of being an American Citizen.  Imagine how our country would be different if we were never allowed to do this, or we were only allowed to assemble when told to do so.  Would you want to live in a place like this?  Was the process that led to the creation of our Constitution a was of time?  Probably not, that is why you are reading this post…
    • How about the process that finally included women in the voting process.  Could you imagine living in a place that did not allow everyone to vote in an election?  I know that we still have some issues when it comes to this and there are probably some things that we could do better – but to deny an entire group of people the opportunity to vote is difficult to justify.  Is what these people did considered a waste of time?  How did the course of women’s right to vote change?  Through people who were courageous enough to stand up for what the believed was the right thing to do!
    • What about the Civil Rights Movement?  I know that there were some events where violence occurred, but look at the legacy that Dr. Martin Luther King left.  Would you dare to call what he did a waste of time?  I know that comparing education to the civil rights movement is like comparing apples to oranges – but how did the course of civil rights change?  Through people who were courageous enough to stand up for what the believed was the right thing to do!
    • And look no further than our own state history – HB 1017.  April 19,1990 was a big day for education.  Little did we know what was in store for us.

“House Bill 1017 was the first time that Oklahoma made a real commitment to quality and excellence and standards for its public schools,” says state Superintendent Sandy Garrett.

I believe that the more people who take a stand for education the stronger the voice is that can be heard.  I love what I do, make no mistake about it!  I also know that when our public education system is teaching more students but is receiving the same funding it did in 2008.  Take a walk down memory lane: what was the cost of milk in 2008? Now?  Price per gallon of gas in 2008? Now?  Cost for school supplies in 2008? Now?  Some of those prices have not change much, some have change significantly.  Just imagine a situation where an item (the typical milk carton) and lets say in 2008, the cost to the school district is $1.00.  Fast forward to to 2013 and imagine the same milk carton is now $1.25.  If a school district purchased 10,000 cartons of milk in 2008 that price would be $10,000 but in 2013 the same amount of milk would now cost $12,500.  Now these milk prices may not be 100% accurate, but the math is.  So imagine squeezing more kids into the schools, paying for gas to fuel the buses, the electricity and gas to keep the buildings comfortable, the food that is prepared for the students, the supplies that teachers need (not the ones they want) and all of the sudden, the school budget that was barely doable (but possible) in 2008 becomes unmanageable in 2013.

I am all about this rally!  I am all about my students!  I WILL GLADLY MAKE UP A DAY IN JUNE FOR A DAY THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN MARCH!!!

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