OKLAHOMA PASTORS’ DECLARATION ON PUBLIC EDUCATION
The time has come for Pastors to speak positively about Oklahoma’s public school children, teachers, and administration. We pledge to take proactive initiatives that advance a constructive future for Oklahoma’s public school system.
While every family is free to choose the direction of their children’s education, we believe it is wrong to insinuate public schools are “atheist-based” and that parents should abandon public schools in favor of private alternatives.
We recognize that education improvement and reform is necessary in Oklahoma in order to properly fund and resource our teachers, schools, and students. We reject the false notion that schools are “failing” or not caring for our students. We urge a halt to the demonization of public schools and anti-public school rhetoric.
We believe a free public education is a moral good that is vital to our state’s well being and requires adequate investment to ensure thriving communities. We believe public school children are God’s children who deserve the nurture of a good society, the prospect for a good education and the equal opportunity for a good life.
We affirm the separation of church and state, which will keep public schools free from coercive pressure to promote any sectarian faith.
We recognize vouchers, ESAs, and privatization as an attempt to convert the free public education of the many into a marketplace of financial gain for the few. The proliferation of school choice programs is an attempt to redistribute public education resources from the most underfunded districts into the hands of private education profiteers. We call for an end to this profiteering of Oklahoma’s most vulnerable children.
We resolve to be committed to a just society. A just society will ensure that every child has an opportunity for a good education and that public schools have the resources necessary to provide such an opportunity, achieving the highest standards possible.
We, the undersigned, pledge therefore to,
pray for public schools;
show our support for public schools through worship services that affirm all school-related personnel;
advocate for a high wall of separation between church and state that is critical to good public education;
pursue a just society that benefits every child;
challenge religious voices who demonize public education; and
share this letter with others.
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