Thursday, October 6, 2016

Public School Funding Matters, Even in this Political Season | janresseger

Public School Funding Matters, Even in this Political Season | janresseger:

Public School Funding Matters, Even in this Political Season



If you really think about it, you might find it surprising that in Tuesday night’s Vice Presidential debate neither candidate for Vice President of the United States spent any time really talking about many of the issues that affect us all from day to day. Although they strongly disagree, both Tim Kaine, Virginia’s U.S. senator and former governor, and Mike Pence, Indiana’s current governor, care deeply about education, which is surely among the everyday matters of concern for America’s citizens. Mike Pence has been a strong promoter in his state of the preferred educational policies of the American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC, and Tim Kaine’s wife was, until the current campaign got underway, the state superintendent of education in Virginia.
However bizarre the campaign for President is this year, you will likely find it reassuring to be reminded that in some places the voters are paying attention to the condition of their public schools.  On Tuesday evening, just before the Vice Presidential debate, for example, the PBS NewsHour aired a story about forty teachers in Oklahoma who have chosen to run this fall for positions in the Oklahoma state legislature.  Reporter Lisa Stark explains: “Oklahoma schools have already lost a lot. The state ranks 47 out of 50 in per-pupil spending. And since 2008, the legislature has cut spending per student by 24 percent, the largest drop in the nation, leading to teacher layoffs, overcrowded classrooms. More than 100 districts have approved four-day school weeks.”
Stark interviews Oklahoma’s teacher of the year who is running for state senate, along with other candidates—a recently retired 35-year  special education teacher, and a high school English teacher recently laid off in budget cuts. They are running for office based on their personal experience in the state’s under-funded schools.  Stark also speaks with David Boren, former U.S. senator and Oklahoma governor and now president of the University of Public School Funding Matters, Even in this Political Season | janresseger:


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