On Monday, We Turn the Tide

“Never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” Harriet Beecher Stow

The place is the Oklahoma State Capitol and the time is 10:30 a.m. March 31, 2014. What a day it will be! It’s our chance to ‘turn the tide’ and be a part of something bigger than each of us individually. As individuals we have power, but when over 20,000 individuals come together with one voice and one purpose the message becomes a roar. A message that will rumble to the top floors of the Capitol and across this great state saying, “The time is now – secure funding for public education.” 

It’s our time to unite for something that is bigger than each of us. Certainly we want what’s best for our individual students, but this is our opportunity to speak for all of them as well as for the students of the future. Too often our students’ voices are not being heard, yet it is their future that is being put in jeopardy. Public education is the great equalizer and the key to a successful future. That is not something that should be done “on the cheap.” It is not something that should be done in 2014 on a 2008 budget. It should be the state’s number one priority. 

March 31 is not simply one day of action. It is the beginning of a new sense of change and purpose. Teachers, parents, administrators, community members and students are saying it is time to prioritize and fund public education. It is no longer acceptable for our students to be 49th in the nation in the amount that is spent for their education. It is time to start climbing out of the financial hole that has been dug in education funding. We will send a message which says financially starving public schools in Oklahoma is not okay.

Be a participant, not a spectator. To turn the tide, it will take each of us standing together. In five, 10 or 20 years, I hope you will be able to look back at March 31, 2014, and say, “Yes, I was there. It was an awesome day, and it was a turning point in public education.” We will make a difference, and there are more than 678,000 reasons we should.


 

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