Ever since it was obvious that our lawmakers would not put the brakes on the tax cut, even in the face of a revenue failure inching toward $1 billion, we on social media started grouching about how much we did NOT need the average $29 tax cut, and how we knew schools needed the funds more.
Rob Miller has written about #GiveItBackOK, and so has Rick Cobb. Rickand Tegan Sexton were interviewed for one story, and Jeffery Corbett for another. Legislators are joining the call…Jason Dunnington and Emily Virgin have pledged to #GiveItBackOK. And that’s all happened in the past few days.
Now it’s clear…tax cuts will happen. Funding for schools and other social services will be cut. Things are going to get ugly out there. Our anger grew and a movement was born: #GiveItBackOK – the challenge to donate our tax cut directly back to our schools. It’s gotten lots of attention and play on the media. Our colleagues have been positive and proactive: We don’t mind paying our fair share, in fact, we insist.
So, what can you do to get involved? Well, start by figuring your potential tax cut. Oklahoma Policy Institute has created a handy calculator. Find out how much you’ll be forced to receive.
Then, donate that to your favorite school or school district.
Here are some of the ideas I’m seeing on FB:
· Donate to the school district lunch program. In trying to alleviate cuts to schools, the OSDE cut our state’s matching funding for the school lunch program by 30.28%. Check with your district office and see if you can earmark your donation to hungry kids.
· Donate to your school’s general fund…that’s what schools use to buy paper, pencils, supplies, printer ink. Those funds will take a huge hit in order to continue funding vital services.
· Ask your child’s teacher for a wish list of supplies and buy all of them and more
· Ask the music and art teachers if they could use some help. My granddaughter’s art program funds itself by selling candy bars between classes…and that was before the revenue failure.
· Join your PTA or PTO and donate to their efforts.
· Does your district have a school foundation? Donate!
· School libraries have been hurting for years, and this will be hard on them. Donate to the library and invite the media specialist to get the books students have been asking for.
This list is just the beginning. What other ideas can we brainstorm? If our elected leaders are content for schools and students to suffer, that doesn’t mean we have to let it happen.
So, what are other ways we can use our tax cut to help our public schools?