Education's Oliver Twist Moment
“Oliver, toils with very little food – One day, the desperately hungry boys decide to draw lots; the loser must ask for another portion of gruel. The task falls to Oliver, who at the next meal tremblingly comes up forward, bowl in hand, and makes his famous request: "Please, sir, I want some more". (Wikipedia)
There’s just something about this scene from Oliver Twist which reminds me of what has happened year after year to our requests for more funding for public education. We’ve politely stepped forward on behalf of the students of Oklahoma and asked for more funding to adequately fund their public education. Sadly, the response since 2008 has been very similar to the response Oliver received.
The master turned very pale. He gazed in stupefied astonishment on the small rebel.
"What!" said the master at length, in a faint voice.
"Please, sir," replied Oliver, "I want some more."
The board were sitting in solemn conclave, when Mr. Bumble rushed into the room in great excitement, and addressing the gentleman in the high chair, said,
"Mr. Limbkins, I beg your pardon, sir! Oliver Twist has asked for more!"
There was a general start. Horror was depicted on every countenance.
"For MORE!" said Mr. Limbkins. "Compose yourself, Bumble, and answer me distinctly. Do I understand that he asked for more, after he had eaten the supper allotted by the dietary?"
"He did, sir," replied Bumble.
Yes, like Oliver, we are asking for more. The allotted amount is not sufficient to sustain and improve our schools. Since 2008, Oklahoma public schools are operating with $220 million less with approximately 35,000 more students to educate. In other words, it’s a smaller pie and has to be cut into many more pieces. We are 49th in the nation in what we spend per pupil to educate our children in Oklahoma – down $810 per pupil. We are also 49th in the nation in what we pay teachers. This is not acceptable.
At the Oklahoma Coalition Rally on March 31, we have an opportunity to say very plainly – “Yes, we do need more funding for public education.” It is wrong to have education reduced to starving. If your school does not plan to be at the rally, please schedule a personal day and attend.
Unlike little Oliver we won’t be alone when we make our request. We will stand united for Oklahoma’s students with educators, support professionals, administrators, parents and others. Yes, we want more!
For more information, please go to the OKED Rally webpage OKEDCoalition.org.
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