Imagine What Step Up Can Do for Education

Imagine what you would do with an extra $5,000 a year in your paycheck. Would you buy new tires so your car is safe? Get insurance for your spouse or kids? Or simply, yet sadly, rejoice in the fact that you don’t have to eat ramen and peanut butter for the last two weeks of every month? 

Now, imagine what your schools would do if some funding was restored to the general funds. Give our support professionals a raise, lower class sizes, buy curriculum and materials, restore the school week to 5 days? All of these and more great ideas came to mind when I imagined.

Finally, imagine what all this would mean for our students? Imagine less frustration in the class because teachers have time to fully answer their questions. Imagine more well-rounded graduates because there were classes for them to take that piqued their interests and allowed them to experience classes that met their needs. Imagine students fully able to do their work because they don’t have to share books and can take them home to finish homework or expand on their learning. Imagine a librarian and counselor in every building. Imagine all the possibilities.

I know that progress first requires us to take a step. For some, it’s a small step; for others it’s more like a leap of faith. I am asking for our members to once again take that step and engage with our legislators. We need OEA members and supporters of public education to take that step of activism for your benefit and for the benefit of your students.

The Step Up Oklahoma Plan has a revenue piece that will raise nearly $800 million in recurring revenue for our state. Within this plan are the revenue mechanisms to make a reality of what we imagine as possibilities. But that will take all of us making calls to our legislators and letting them know that we must STEP UP and pass the revenue measures so that we can secure the future of education and other core services in our state.

On Monday, teachers, administrators and parents from across the state will be at the Capitol lobbying for passage of new revenue measures and a $5,000 teacher pay raise. Join us at the Capitol if you can. In any event, please contact your legislators and ask them to support the revenue measures and teacher pay raise in the Step Up plan.


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