Friday, July 29, 2016

Education funding: A tale of two governors' failures - NonDoc

Education funding: A tale of two governors' failures - NonDoc:

Education funding: A tale of two governors’ failures

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Wednesday’s news that Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin is considering a special session for the purpose of passing a teacher-pay raise reminded me — not for the first time — of just how much she and the governor of my new home state have in common, especially when it comes to funding public education and teacher-pay issues.
Fallin and Gov. Pat McCrory (R-N.C.) are both hapless governors whose most superb political instincts appear to be sticking to their guns until they finally realize their actions have been interpreted as tone deafness or, worse, complete ignorance of reality.
To compensate, they spend an inordinate amount of time frantically backpedaling in an effort to save their political skins. When people haven’t been paying attention (and these governors definitely hope they haven’t), Fallin and McCrory try to pretend like they’ve always been champions of the people’s will. At least, that’s been my takeaway from watching these two political masterminds as of late.

Oklahoma’s education woes

When she became governor in 2010, Gov. Mary Fallin was known for many things, but being a champion of public education certainly wasn’t one of them. She was, however,brazen in her call to cut income taxes, a move that would overwhelmingly benefit wealthier Oklahomans and deprive the state of revenue necessary for delivering quality services to the public. A study released in January showed how income tax cuts over a 10-year period had indeed deprived Oklahoma of more than $1 billion in revenue. State officials, including Fallin, of course, quickly blamed falling oil prices as the culprit.

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