Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Frustrated Teachers aren’t Going to Make Good Legislators

By the Watchman

  We here at the Sooner Tea Party fully understand the frustration of our educators regarding pay and classroom size. We have ourselves sat here and been amazed at the lack of leadership demonstrated by our political leaders at the state capitol year after year. We've watched the administrative staffs of most districts grow at a rate four times faster than the rate of the student population and three times faster than the rate of the number of educators. We've also witnessed many of our best educators leave the state because they could get better pay elsewhere. We do not believe that educators leaving the classroom during the school year is the appropriate way to get the changes they seek done.

To be completely open about this, we do not usually write about Democratic candidates or legislators unless they or their supporters have really made a mistake. This is one of those instances. Last week we mentioned one article contained in a blog written by a Tulsa school district teacher who thinks he's so smart that he even amazes himself. It goes without saying that he was following Saul Alinsky's book, Rules for Radicals, to the letter. That's typical of what Democrats do. We hope that the parents in Tulsa have approved that their children are taught History by a socialist.

The first item of interest we found was this Kevin McDonald (Oklahoma) - Ballotpedia. We didn't expect to find a lot of information on this page simply because Mr. McDonald has never held or ran for a political office before.  This does give you the facts that he is definitely running for the Senate District 41 that has been vacated due to term limits.

The next article of interest we found was this Standout Edmond teacher running for senator | News | This article was printed in the Edmond Sun on April 8, 2016 and is the first notification we have of his candidacy for the Senate District 41. Mr. McDonald was named the 2015-2016 Teacher of the Year for the Edmond Public Schools. This raises a question. Do we really want him in the Senate or would we prefer a teacher of his quality in the classroom. We would think that his students would suffer by missing his skills in the classroom during the legislative session each year.

We next went to his campaign web site here About - Kevin McDonald for Senate District 41. We were sorely disappointed in what we found. He is basing his entire platform on education and being an advocate for teachers. We agree that educating our children is vital to our future success as a nation. We also agree that top notch educators are needed to do that.  Where those educators would be more useful is getting both houses of the legislature to follow the state Constitution for a change. If you think times are tough now, just wait until the one cent sales tax hike goes into effect, if approved by voters that David Boren is trying to get. That'll make Oklahoma the highest taxed state in the union. When that happens, companies will stop wanting to come to Oklahoma.

The next article of interest we found was this Memorial High School English teacher selected Edmond Teacher of the Year | This is the quality teacher that we need in our classrooms not roaming the halls of the capital. We understand his frustration and that of his colleagues. We and many other grass roots organizations have been fighting right alongside you for several years to get teachers a pay raise.

The next article of interest we found was this Edmond teacher details reasons to run for state senate | Oklahoma City - OKC - Now we urge you to open this link and watch the video. Mr. McDonald explains his reasons for running for office.

The next article we found, we won't call it interesting but does show the prejudice of a person who looks only to demean the competition by name calling and no facts to support his statement is this Blue Cereal Candidate Profile: Kevin McDonald (D), Running for Senate District 41 - #OKElections16 | Blue Cereal Education . Once again we'll say that we can understand being zealous towards a candidate, however when writing an article for consumption by the public you as a blogger or reporter or whatever you care to call yourself have to remain neutral.

It has become painfully clear that Mr. McDonald lacks the fortitude necessary to keep his supporters in control. Two instances come to mind. The first was the biased article written by the Tulsa Public Schools History teacher on his blog. The second was even more hateful. We found that a Senate candidate made a photo shopped picture of him wearing a KKK suit. The candidate blamed it on his Republican competitor, however we suspect it came from the Democratic competitor. This is the type of things they like to do. You can read the article here State Senate Candidate Holds Press Conference To Deny He's In The KKK… | The Lost Ogle.

We tried to identify the number of teachers and administrators that were terminated due to budget cuts this year in the Edmond School District. We were unable to locate any specific numbers. We did find this article 59 teachers, administrators, support personnel retiring from Edmond schools | News | These were all retiree's. We know that Edmond Public Schools are among the best in the state if not the nation and if they managed to get by with only those losses, we are glad to hear it. Somehow though we don't think we are getting the full story.

We next went to to see what information they had available on him. We started with the Biography Page. What we did find was that prior to teaching in Edmond, he taught at Guthrie and was once named Teacher of the Year in Guthrie. From here we viewed all the other available files and there was nothing on file. We knew we had to dig deeper.

We next went to to see if they had any information on his campaign finance reports. Once again we drew a blank. They had nothing on him.

We next went to to see what they had available on his campaign finances. We know that he filed for office on April 12, 2016. There was one typographical error on the report that they had to correct and did so on May 3, 2016. That was a simple mistake that anyone could make and in fact happens more frequently than you would think. We found few surprises there. Many teachers and retired teachers donated to his campaign. There were a few lobbyists. We found two Community Organizers but it's what we didn't find that surprised us. We failed to find any contribution from either of the two teachers unions or any union at all. That is unusual. There wasn't even a donation from the party.

The bottom line folks is we've got to do everything that we can to educate our children. Throwing money at the problem is not the only solution. Spending the funds we have wisely needs to be figured in on that as well. The biggest thing we as voters and tax payers can do is to ensure that our legislators obey the law and the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma. There are parts of the state government that can and should be eliminated. There are things our legislature is doing that based on the state Constitution are only allowed to be done by the city and county governments. The people at the capital no longer work for We the People. They are now owned and operated by the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce. Our own State Treasurer informed us that there was a 7.7% decrease in revenue last quarter. The federal government has placed the state in a recession and all the clowns at the capital can think of is to raise taxes which will drive away business.

We are sure that Mr. McDonald is an outstanding teacher. We need him to stay in the classroom not in the Senate. He would do more for the state in the classroom than we could ever hope he could accomplish in the Senate. We need men and women like him to force legislators to stop giving out almost two billion dollars a year in tax credits to companies that don't need them so we can start getting to work paying our teachers what they are worth.

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