State of Oklahoma Archives: on Education


Abby Broyles: Federal funding improves education

On schools: "While education is a state issue, the federal government plays an important role," she said. "There are so many kids who don't have access to a tablet or laptops that are needed for distance learning. There's a lack of broadband access in pockets of OKC and Tulsa, but also rural areas. There's a lot that can be done to improve life for students and teachers from the federal level."
Source: Nondoc.com e-zine on 2020 Oklahoma Senate race Sep 22, 2020

Kendra Horn: Participated in teacher walkout protesting Oklahoma cuts

Oklahoma's huge teacher walkout was a powerful catalyzing moment. Decades of tax cuts had gutted education funding, leading to four-day school weeks, crowded classrooms, and abysmal teacher pay. As a result of the low wages, Oklahoma struggled to recruit enough teachers, so it implemented an emergency certification program that allowed people to teach without formal training. Fed up with these policies and feeling ignored by politicians, 50,000 teachers from across the state swarmed the Capitol grounds in April 2018, causing schools to shut down for weeks. Horn participated in the walkout and earned the endorsement of the Oklahoma Education Association. Alicia Priest, the association's president, said there was no doubt that Horn's heart was with the public schools.
Source: Oklahoma Gazette on 2020 OK-5 House race Feb 18, 2020

Kendra Horn: Remove student loans from credit histories

When Horn got a question about student loan debt, she seemed glad to have the opportunity to talk about a bill that would expunge a person's adverse credit history related to federal student loans.
Source: Oklahoma Gazette on 2020 OK-5 House race Feb 18, 2020

Kevin Stitt: Invest in recruiting & keeping teachers

My administration is committed to public education and understands that the large majority of our students attend public schools. We are confronted with a nationwide teacher shortage. With recent revenue growth, I ask the Legislature to bring our teachers to number one in our region in pay and benefits. This amounts to a $1,200 increase per teacher. I am also calling for a bonus recruitment program, up to $5 million. We must also look at ways to better stabilize the funding of public education. The fact that Texas is preparing to pass a teacher pay increase--at a cost of $3.7 billion--compels us to review and reform our state's funding formula and to take the handcuffs off local communities wanting to compete, recruit, and retain the very best teachers. We must chart a bold course that allows for communities to do more for their students without being penalized with the loss of state support.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Oklahoma legislature Feb 4, 2019

Kevin Stitt: Prepare students for jobs with career tech

We must not forget that education should be first and foremost about our students, not about systems. I will sign into law any legislation that seeks to break down the silos between common education, career techs, and higher education so that we can better align the education experience for Oklahoma's children and prepare them for tomorrow's workforce of machinists, computer programmers, engineers, and more.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Oklahoma legislature Feb 4, 2019

Drew Edmondson: $300M more for education and healthcare systems

Both Democrat Drew Edmondson and Republican Kevin Stitt agreed the state's education and healthcare systems need more money but disagreed over where the funding should come from.

Edmondson promoted his plan to increase the state's gross production tax to 7%, do away with the capital gains tax deduction and increase the cigarette tax by 50 cents, raising an additional $300 million.

"His solution is always more taxes on hardworking Oklahomans," Stitt responded. Stitt said finding more money for state agencies will require cutting waste, stronger leadership and wisely spending $1 billion in new revenue coming to the state this year.

Edmondson called the $1 billion "a bogus number" that includes money already dedicated for services.

The two candidates agreed that school consolidation should be left up to local districts, recreational marijuana isn't right for Oklahoma and that teacher pay should be increased.

Source: The Oklahoman on 2018 Oklahoma gubernatorial debate Oct 25, 2018

Kevin Stitt: Give priority to funding schools; pay teachers more

Oklahoma leads the nation in cuts to education funding. Our teachers are underpaid and leaving the state in droves. Too much money fails to reach the classrooms and some school districts have resorted to four-day school weeks. Our leaders are failing our students, our families, and jeopardizing our future. Enough is enough. I will prioritize students and funding for the classroom and invest in the teachers that make a difference every day. It's time to restore respect to teachers!
Source: 2018 Oklahoma Gubernatorial website StittForGovernor.com Jul 4, 2018

Kevin Stitt: Schools are bloated with administration & too many districts

Stitt signed the Oklahoma Taxpayer Platform which includes a plank on "Structural Reform": We want structural reform to transform and eliminate governmental dysfunction, duplication and corruption. 500+ school districts are too many. Schools are bloated with administration. 500+ Agencies, Authorities, Boards, Trusts and Commissions are too much. Too many unelected officials are making decisions that affect taxpayers. Education and health would be better served by a dramatic downsizing of state bureaucracies, with more decisions made locally. We want fair legislative operating rules that do not abridge the right and responsibility of legislators to represent their constituents. Needed government services should be efficient and user-friendly.
Source: OKTaxpayersUnite press release: 2018 Oklahoma Governor race Jul 4, 2018

Mick Cornett: Says teachers deserve raises that equal the regional average

Mick's mother was a teacher and he understands the importance education plays in growing our economy, promoting a stronger workforce and creating better jobs that keep our kids and grandkids here. Mick believes teachers deserve a raise. He would like to see salaries increased to the regional average with competitive pay increases for STEM teachers.
Source: 2018 Oklahoma gubernatorial campaign website Mick2018.com Jul 4, 2018

Tom Coburn: Schools are bloated with administration & too many districts

Coburn authored the Oklahoma Taxpayer Platform which includes a plank on "Structural Reform": We want structural reform to transform and eliminate governmental dysfunction, duplication and corruption. 500+ school districts are too many. Schools are bloated with administration. 500+ Agencies, Authorities, Boards, Trusts and Commissions are too much. Too many unelected officials are making decisions that affect taxpayers. Education and health would be better served by a dramatic downsizing of state bureaucracies, with more decisions made locally. We want fair legislative operating rules that do not abridge the right and responsibility of legislators to represent their constituents. Needed government services should be efficient and user-friendly.
Source: OKTaxpayersUnite press release: 2018 Oklahoma Governor race Jul 4, 2018

Drew Edmondson: The future depends on investing in education and kids

Number one--we need to raise pay for our teachers and reduce administrative costs to put money back in classrooms. This isn't just about doing right by our teachers or giving opportunity to our kids. It's about our future. If we want to grow our businesses and attract new ones, we must have the entrepreneurs and skilled workers to support them. We need to stop cutting higher education funding too, and invest in Oklahomans to build a more prosperous Oklahoma.
Source: 2018 gubernatorial campaign website DrewForOklahoma.com Jun 23, 2018

Chris Powell: Strongly oppose vouchers for school choice

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Vouchers for school choice"?

A: Strongly oppose.

Source: OnTheIssues interview of 2018 Oklahoma Governor candidate May 15, 2018

Joe Maldonado: No vouchers for school choice

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Vouchers for school choice"?

A: NO.

Source: OnTheIssues interview of 2018 Oklahoma Governor candidate May 15, 2018

Connie Johnson: Support public education, not vouchers

Source: 2018 Oklahoma Senatorial website ConnieForGovernor.com Oct 15, 2017

Gary Richardson: A child's zip code shouldn't determine quality of education

You don't have to ask around far to learn that our schools are in crisis mode. Oklahoma needs leadership that will not only make education a priority, but improve funding to our classrooms so that teachers and ultimately, our children and grandchildren benefit from a quality education.
Source: 2018 Oklahoma governor campaign website GaryRichardson.org May 2, 2017

Mike Workman: Support all public education; fight all vouchers

EDUCATION: Support all levels of public education. Improve pre-K standards and early-childhood programs. Lessen unfunded mandates for K-12. Fight all efforts to divert public funds into voucher programs. Allow negotiation of post-secondary student loan debt. Support graduate and research programs. Increase tax incentives and programs for teachers in K-12 public schools.
Source: 2016 OK Senate campaign website facebook/Workman-4-Oklahoma Aug 8, 2016

James Inhofe: Oppose nationwide Common Core standards

Question topic: The federal government should establish nationwide standards (such as Common Core) for high-school graduation.

Inhofe: Strongly Disagree

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Oklahoma Senate race Sep 30, 2014

Joe Dorman: I will continue to be a champion for public education

I'll invest in education. Our teachers, our students, our state deserve better. We have to provide adequate resources to eliminate overcrowded classrooms. I will continue to be a champion for public education--working across the aisle to raise salaries for our teachers, because the job of educating Oklahoma kids shouldn't require financial sacrifice at home.

Together we will put our schools on the path towards a 21st century classroom and ensure that Oklahoma schools are the best in the nation.

Source: 2014 Oklahoma Gubernatorial campaign website JoeDorman.com Jul 2, 2014

Matt Silverstein: Sufficiently fund public education, with national standards

We will never solve our nation's problems if we continue to fail our children in the classroom. Education is largely the responsibility of the state and Matt will support governance structures which hold leaders responsible, while giving them the tools to effectuate change. We should always have accountability to the local school districts and taxpayers.

Matt supports sufficiently funding education and setting clearly-articulated national standards and expectations for core subject areas, while allowing states and local districts to determine how best to make sure that all students are reaching those standards. Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics are critical to building a stronger, more qualified workforce and a stronger economy.

Source: 2014 Senate campaign website, MattForOklahoma.com, "Issues" Nov 11, 2013

Mary Fallin: Build schools with tornado safe rooms

Q: In the recent tornadoes, a lot of schools did not have a safe place where the children could go. Are you going to try to rethink how you build schools when you start to put these schools back?

FALLIN: Absolutely. And let me just say that we do have 100 schools in Oklahoma that do have safe rooms; and schools that have been [damaged] in the past, many of them have rebuilt rooms as some sort as a safe room in their school and we're certainly going to encourage that. But I do think it's important to have a very vigorous discussion as to what can we do within budgetary means to be able to provide a safe place. Certainly every school has drills. They have a plan. And the teachers did follow those different plans. Any death is very unfortunate, but it's truly incredible that we had only 24 deaths at this site because if you look at all the debris field and how wide it is, I don't know how anybody survived this tornado. But people took the precautions they were supposed to take.

Source: Face the Nation 2013 on 2014 Oklahoma gubernatorial race May 26, 2013

Jim Bridenstine: No federal standards; local control & spending

Q: Do you support requiring states to implement education reforms to be eligible for federal grants?

A: No. I support funding of education at the local level. The federal government should not be in the business of funding education or setting standards for the states to meet. Each state should oversee its own educational institutions. American citizens should not send money to Washington, DC to have it redistributed as the federal Department of Education deems appropriate.

Source: Oklahoma Congressional 2012 Political Courage Test Oct 30, 2012

Brad Henry: Don't siphon resources from our classrooms

We recognized the hard work of our teachers by increasing their pay and, for the first time in history, covering the full cost of teachers' health insurance. This helps Oklahoma attract and retain the quality teachers our students deserve, and it tells our teachers that we value their commitment.

Our progress in schools has been tremendous. I will not tolerate any effort to cut teacher pay or siphon resources from our classrooms, our students, or our future.

Source: Oklahoma 2010 State of the State Address Feb 1, 2010

Andrew Rice: Shift emphasis away from punishing underperforming school

Rice will work to improve the Elementary & Secondary Education Act to shift its emphasis away from punishment of underperforming school districts to a system that provides effective support to schools that need help. The current system shifts public dollars to the private sector through supplemental education services and private, for-profit takeovers of low performance schools. Rather than undermine the existing public school structure, he will work instead to reduce class sizes & other reforms.
Source: 2008 Senate campaign website andrewforoklahoma.com “Details” Jul 11, 2008

Joe Dorman: Let students express religious viewpoints in schools

Dorman voted YEA on HB2633, Religious Expression in Schools; Bill Passed Concurrence Vote in House (70-28).
Source: Vote Smart's Synopsis of Oklahoma Legislative voting records May 12, 2008

Scott Inman: Let students express religious viewpoints in schools

Inman voted YEA on HB2633, Religious Expression in Schools; Bill Passed Concurrence Vote in House (70-28).
Source: Vote Smart's Synopsis of Oklahoma Legislative voting records May 12, 2008

Frank Keating: More funding for schools and colleges

Funding for common education, higher education and career education is at an all time high. We have funded more chairs in the higher education system than ever before, and this budget proposes to fund more, particularly in the technology areas, science and mathematics, in those areas where we are starved for available workers in Oklahoma to fill available jobs.
Source: 2001 State of the State address to Oklahoma legislature Feb 5, 2001

Frank Keating: Supported largest teacher pay raise in state history

Last year, together, we passed the largest pay raise in state history for teachers. No great surprise, our ACT scores have now defeated every state in the south. We have defeated Texas in something other than football for a change. Our ACT scores now beat Georgia, the Carolinas, Florida, Texas, and Tennessee, all of the states in the south. We have the number one ACT high school in the United States at the Oklahoma School of Science and Math, of which we are very, very proud.
Source: 2001 State of the State address to Oklahoma legislature Feb 5, 2001

Frank Keating: $80M in block grants to schools

    Today I propose a revolutionary system of block grants for schools that will encourage and reward success. These block grants [total] $80 million in three different areas:
  1. “Matching grants” to schools that cut administrative overhead and devote more dollars to spending in the classroom.
  2. “Reward grants” to recognize and support schools where learning is the focus.
  3. “Improvement grants,” to help districts achieve better performance and accountability to move toward the model, what I describe as a 21st Century School Model.
    Now, what will qualify for these grants?
  1. Are you offering and are you requiring that each student take six academic hours a day?
  2. Do you offer and do you require four years each of math, science, English, and social studies for every student?
  3. Have you ended social promotion?
  4. Is more money flowing to the classroom and less money going to administrative overhead?
  5. And most importantly of all, are your students learning?
Source: 2001 State of the State address to Oklahoma legislature Feb 5, 2001

Winona LaDuke: Supports increased funding for tribal colleges

“Tribal colleges, too, we need to see a amjor increase in funding for these institutions. One year’s funding from some weapon system or the drug war would fund all the tribal colleges for years.”
Source: Interview in Oklahoma Indian Times Jun 1, 2000

  • The above quotations are from State of Oklahoma Politicians: Archives.
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2020 Presidential contenders on Education:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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Page last updated: Jan 29, 2021