Oklahoma isn’t facing a teacher crisis, but a tax crisis. Simply, you can’t complain about Oklahoma teachers not having enough money when Oklahoma doesn’t have enough money. Could some reshuffling be done, basically cannibalize some programs to support the monster that is public education? Sure, but which parks do you want to close? What infrastructure do you want to cancel? What welfare do you want to cut? Who do you want to lay-off? Sure, we could do that. I’m sure that in some places we should, but this is not just a teacher crisis. Oklahoma just doesn’t have money. The article listed for this question also mentioned our Highway Patrol and Prisons in dangerously underfunded situations. Just sayin’.
I want to be fair, teaching in Oklahoma is horrible and it does have challenges other industries don’t have. I’ll go into details of that at the bottom, but just know that the hours are murder and the conditions are impossible, especially for new teachers. I’m saying that as someone who was deployed twice to Iraq with the US Marines. The resources aren’t there, and the struggle is mostly invisible to parents and the community. But the reason that it is called a teacher crisis and not a statewide budget crisis is because teachers are the largest and most organized publicly paid collective in the state, as teachers are in most states. You’d be surprised how powerful left-leaning teachers unions can be even in red states like Oklahoma. Plus teachers always get to pull on the heartstrings by saying that every funding issue involved with schools is “for the kids”. At some point, you have to say, “No it isn’t. If it was, you’d make smarter decisions about where the money goes. Instead, the only things anyone talks about are raises for teachers that can’t be fired and who constantly turn over kids who fail in the subjects they teach while new teachers flee to neighboring states due to poor working conditions.” Sorry, but teachers can be manipulative and dishonest, just like any other industry.
Actually, no. That isn’t fair. There is a lot of manipulation going on, but readers need to understand what teachers in Oklahoma go through.
This is part of a series on Education in Oklahoma:
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