Republicans: What’s With the Oklahoma Teacher Crisis?

Speaking as a Republican former teacher in Oklahoma, I think I got this one.

This question was first brought to me, asking me to explain, as a Republican, why the state seems to have failed so deeply with education. First of all, I have no idea why Republicans are being singled out in this conversation specifically, as Republican policy has little to nothing to do with the problem. Education is one such example, as the education sector in heavily blue, even for a red state. And many issues aren’t even partisan at all. That doesn’t even address that the real problems for Oklahoma have little to nothing to do with politics, but the economy. Speaking as a former Oklahoma school teacher, here’s the real problem:

Shale oil.

Confused? That’s because there are no such things as simple solutions in a complex and dynamic world. The reason that shale oil is to blame for most of Oklahoma’s current misfortunes is that evolution in the oil industry has gutted Oklahoma’s finances. How? It’s actually because of the great success in technological innovation surrounding shale. A very brief summary is that two innovations: hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling allowed oil to be pumped out of reserves once thought too expensive for profit until only about the last decade.

It’s a lot more complicated to unpack all the problems of Oklahoma education. So over the next few weeks, I’ll be diving into the politics of Oklahoma education to discuss what the causes, and maybe a few solutions to the current crisis. Make sure to follow The War Elephant on Facebook to get more daily updates.

 Continue to The Problem with Shale.

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