Contact Your Lawmakers During the 2017 Oklahoma Special Session
September 25, 2017
Oklahoma Education Association President Alicia Priest offered this message to members:
We just came back from special session, and I wanted to give you a quick update. They gaveled in, basically, and gaveled out. They took care of a couple of little things and will come back into session on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. for the Senate and at 10 a.m. for the House of Representatives. It may just be another gavel in and gavel out because they have to have so many reading of bills and so much time in between things. So really we think Wednesday is the first day that they’ll be able to do anything.
So we have time — time to make contact. And that’s what I’m asking you to do. We need to contact all of our legislators and ask them, urge them, to vote for a pay raise — a substantial pay raise — for our teacher and our education support professionals. We don’t want to leave out our support professionals.
There needs to be a dedicated revenue stream for these raises, and it needs to have no strings attached. So no-strings-attached means we do not want them to cap our health benefits or take away any other benefits or switch things around. It is not a raise when they take away our benefits and give us cash instead, right? So we need to make that very well known.
We don’t want this to happen on the backs of other state agencies. They need to fix and fund our budget. They need to find revenue. And they need to get money to all of our brothers and sisters in state agencies. Because we know the children in DHS, the children whose parents or the children themselves aren’t getting mental health supports, those are the children in our classes. And it affects us all.
We need a dedicated revenue stream. We need new revenue; this is not a spending issue that schools have. And we need a raise for teachers and support professionals with no strings attached. All right: get to calling, writing, whatever it is you need to do to get in touch with your legislators . We’ll keep giving you updates.
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