Friday, November 18, 2016

Finding optimism for #oklaed despite SQ 779's defeat - NonDoc

Finding optimism for #oklaed despite SQ 779's defeat - NonDoc:

Finding optimism for #oklaed despite SQ 779’s defeat

779's defeat

(Editor’s note: Today, NonDoc presents two examinations of Oklahoma’s education system following the defeat of State Question 779 by voters Nov. 8. On one hand, James Davenport writes about how Oklahoma needs a new system entirely. On the other, John Thompson writes below that education advocates have reason to be optimistic despite obstacles.)
Former state Speaker of the House Steve Lewis opened his Nov. 4 article for Oklahoma Policy Institute with the observation:
For a state with a well-deserved reputation for loathing government, we Oklahomans sure spend a lot of time, energy and money governing ourselves.
Weirdly, that’s the good news! After a two-decade campaign to shrink government to the size where it can be drowned in the bathtub, Oklahoma City voters (at least) are pushing back.

2016’s victories in governing ourselves

Not long ago, it looked like Oklahoma was bound to follow North Dakota with an overwhelming victory for the so-called Right to Farm amendment, but corporate agriculture’s SQ 777 was defeated.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma’s incarceration rate is No. 2 in the nation, and we are No. 1 in the world for imprisoning women, but the passage of SQs 780 and 781 make simple possession of drugs a misdemeanor and allocate the savings from reduced prison sentences to local communities for mental health and drug treatment.
And who anticipated such a victory against SQ 790, which was a stalking horse for displaying the Ten Commandments at the Capitol? An ecumenical coalition successfully defended the First Amendment!
Last, although it was a terribly disappointing election for teachers across the state, the OKC metropolitan area sent two Democratic educators, Mickey Dollens and Forest Bennett, to the Legislature. We also re-elected Rep. Cyndi Munson (D-OKC) and elected Colin Walke, both Dems.

SQ 779’s defeat illustrates divisions

On the other hand, the surprising defeat of SQ 779 illustrates some of the divisions that Finding optimism for #oklaed despite SQ 779's defeat - NonDoc:

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