I am shocked by the disastrous results of this election, and I am thoroughly disappointed in my fellow Americans – and more specifically my fellow Oklahomans – for not only electing a misogynistic, racist, xenophobic, failed businessman and ex-reality TV star (who has multiple trials for both fraud and rape coming up within the next year) into the highest office in the nation, but also refusing to recognize the extent of the OK Education System’s failings and refusing to vote for SQ 779 that would have offered much-need (albeit limited) relief for our state’s educators.
I am not going to dwell on the fact that Donald Trump will most likely be our next president (primarily because it makes me physically ill to do so). My only hope for our federal government is that the US Congress will be able to minimize the destruction that Trump will inevitably leave in his wake.
Tonight, I would like to call all of your attention to SQ 779. No, it is not a sustainable solution. Yes, our state legislators need to get it together and provide us with some better options. But let’s be honest, do any of you really have faith that our legislators are going to rise to our challenge? I certainly don’t; they certainly haven’t in the past. Right now, our education system needs any scrap of funding that it can get, even if that funding comes in the form of a penny tax. Our teachers are drowning – they are underpaid, overworked, and held to unrealistically high expectations. Today, we also proved that they are underappreciated in the state of Oklahoma.
I know that many of you voted no on SQ 779 because it isn’t an adequate solution. I have seen many claims that SQ 779 is simply a band-aid applied to a bullet wound. You are absolutely right. SQ 779 was honestly insulting to OK educators, however it was also our best chances at offering them some temporary relief. I am saddened to say that, as Oklahomans, we failed them. By voting no on SQ 779, we have chosen our pride over our educators.
I am disappointed, yes, but I am also afraid. I am truly, deeply, genuinely afraid for the future of our nation and for our state. Education is the backbone of our society – if we do not give our children the opportunity to receive a quality education, how can we expect them to provide this nation with a quality future. The short answer? We can’t.