Professors protested, lawmakers listened; millions going to Oklahoma’s education
OKLAHOMA CITY – After thousands of teachers and staff rallied at the Oklahoma State Capitol for more education funding, the Oklahoma Senate approved the bill at the center of the controversy.
Linda Hampton, President of the Oklahoma Education Association said, “When you take over 30,000 people that take their own time off to come and spend a day at the Capitol, standing for over two hours and listening and then taking that message inside and letting their voice be heard, you know they feel strongly. And so, I think that sends a very, very strong message to our legislature.”
Robert Sommers, Oklahoma’s Education Secretary, said, “It [the rally] really speaks volumes to how important public education is in the state of Oklahoma and nationwide.”
On Wednesday, the Senate approved House Bill 2642, which would increase public school funding by $600 million over the next 10 years.
Originally, the bill planned on using funds from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to pay for education.
However, it was amended and now would use money from the general revenue fund.
Sen. David Holt, a member of the Senate Education Committee, said, “I would not have supported it in the end had it taken money away from roads and bridges because that’s a critical function of government too. The bill we passed today did not take any money from transportation, it’s going to have to be money that has to be found from general revenue, it has to come from somewhere, but it is not specifically diverting it away from transportation like the original bill did.”