Friday, June 22, 2018

Primary Elections Matter-Vote for our Kids

Hi! Remember me? Your neighborhood nagging granny.  I'm here to beat the drum for voting Tuesday. It's not like I haven't talked about voting before...One of my first posts was about voting...and the fact teachers DON'T.

One example of our power as voters  was the State Superintendent race in 2014. We (actually, the GOP in their primary) did send a loud message to the SuperinDentist, when she came in third in a three-person race.We can make a difference when we vote.

I wrote passionately about the Teacher Caucus in 2016 -- this amazing group of educators who took the risk of running for office. I wrote. I cheered. And I watched nearly every candidate go down in flames. We didn't vote. And the past two years of legislative inaction is a direct result of our neglect.

Speaking of VOTING: Tuesday!!

So, Tuesday we have another opportunity to vote. To vote #oklaed. To tell our students how much we care about their future. To tell the new teachers I've watched do their interning in Oklahoma classrooms, who choose to move to TX to teach, "Stay. We need you and we will pay you."

There are several lists of recommendations out there and by all means, look at them all. Oklahoma Parents and Educators publish their Apple list. Start there. And then, as a responsible citizen, do your own research.

Here is a new site I really like, VoteOK. They have guides that include all candidates' websites. One page guides you though listing and prioritizing your issues, so you can look at candidates through that lens.

Educators can join Chalk the Vote and stay up-to-date on election information...we hope to also encourage each other to VOTE. Chalk the Vote is sponsored by Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, and is the brain-child of Joe Dorman. I highly recommend book-marking OICA's legislative page. Lots of great information about advocacy.

All the information you need about elections is on the Election Board website. I've printed out a sample ballot and used that to search the candidates. You'll find all the information you need to be ready to vote.

Candidates DID pay attention to the Teacher WalkOut, and all candidates remind us they're related to someone who taught once. They all tell you they care deeply. Education is their top priority. But...we must be informed voters to see beyond their heart-felt commercials set in an empty classroom. We must be careful readers and voters...

What follows is my list...a list of words to search for on candidates' webpages, FaceBook pages, and listen for in their statements. With the help of the smartest friends in the world, I've put together a list of RED FLAG words that might mean a candidate is not as education-friendly as they are trying to tell us. These words should give you pause as you visit their pages. And they should encourage you to keep looking for that candidate.

DISCLAIMER: Yes, you will see a bias in my list. The bias is in favor of fully-funded and supported public schools in Oklahoma.

Not-so-subtle attacks on #oklaed that should worry voters:

Accountability for schools
Audit school districts
Big government
Car allowance
Competition is good for schools
Conservative values
Consolidate schools
Corporate investment
Education gets more than half the budget
Education Options
Entitlement programs
Extreme liberal as an attack
Failing schools
Fraud in schools
Free market
Government bloat
“I’m a businessman, not a politician.”
Increase testing
Job creators
Job-killing regulations
Job-killing taxes
Local control
No new taxes
Parental choice
Principled conservatism
Refers to any human as ‘illegal’
Religious freedom
Remote classrooms
Run government like a business
School administrators’ salaries are the problem
School choice
School competition
School Funding Abuse
Spending problem, not a revenue problem
“State budget is just like a family budget”
Status quo
Taxes are theft
Total education funding is increased
Traditional family values
Trim the fat
Use money from Office of Land Management
Where’s the money from the lottery?
Workers Comp abuse

What other words and phrases (yes, clauses too) set off alarm bells in your head?

I'm off to go vote early. If you have never done that, try! It's fast and fun. And you still get a sticker!! 

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