Facts about Oklahoma Education
Negative rhetoric about public schools makes headlines and tops news programs. These “news” stories often come from privately funded, dark money special interest groups from outside the state of Oklahoma. These well funded elites think they know better than regular, hardworking Oklahomans, our kids’ teachers, and our schools.
Here’s what we believe as Oklahoma Pastors about our public schools:
OUR SCHOOLS ARE NOT FAILING
It’s everywhere. The common refrain is that most public schools are failing. And yet how are the “experts” coming to this conclusion? And who are these experts? Why would it make sense to paint our schools as failing?
PUBLIC EDUCATION IS A GUARANTEED RIGHT
The Constitution of the State of Oklahoma is crystal clear: “The Legislature shall establish and maintain a system of free public schools wherein all the children of the State may be educated.” (Section XIII, Article 1)
You will notice no mention of anything other than a quality free public education. To argue for state funding of anything other than public schools is outside this scope.
Outsiders attempt to sow negative thoughts about our precious educators by asking redundant, unanswerable, or other rhetorical questions about our teachers. They repeat the tired refrain that our teachers make too much money, don’t work hard enough, or it’s all the superintendent’s fault.
Anything to take the focus off of the real problem: We’re 48th in the nation in per-student funding.
Put simply: you cannot put kids first if you put teachers last.
WE HAVE A SPIRITUAL MANDATE
In Matthew 19:14, Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” (NLT)
Education is a gift of God for all people. It enables children to learn who they are and about their world. Jesus was clear that we should not get in the way of children’s progress for they are close to His heart.
Justice demands that we seek the common good of education for all children, not just those who can afford it or perform well on tests.