State Representative, James Lockhart (D) District 3, is offering up some graphic examples of why he says our state’s public schools need more funding.
He snapped a picture of his 13-year-old daughter, Hope, holding her math textbook that is literally held together with duct tape.
Rep. Lockhart said, “I was like man, that thing’s a piece of junk. So sure enough, she gets out another one. And I thought that one’s no better!”
He pointed out two of her other textbooks, both in disrepair and copyrighted 10 years ago.
The science one does not even have a back cover.
“The kids are getting the short end of the stick. There’s just no two ways about that,” said Rep. Lockhart.
Rep. Lockhart says the superintendent in his home town of Heavener tells him they simply don’t have the money for new textbooks.
“Do we pay the electric bill or do we buy textbooks? That’s the shape that our schools are in,” said Rep. Lockhart.
David High, owner of Textbook Exchange said, “The funds, while they were allocated, at the end of the day, the schools were given a great deal of flexibility on how to spend those funds and so it didn’t go to textbooks.”
High says years ago, the legislature gave schools permission to use money earmarked for textbooks in other areas.
Schools now use these books longer than they should, rendering them useless.
They can’t even be resold for repair.
“So that using them that 1 or 2 extra years, in some cases 5 and 6 extra years, by the time we see them, they have no value at all. Whereas before we could write checks to schools for books,” said High.
High’s company offers some solutions to the beat up books, like debinding and putting on brand new covers.
It still doesn’t solve the issue of outdated textbooks and Rep. Lockhart says this is just another example of why our schools need more money.
“That’s really a disservice to our kids,” said Rep. Lockhart.