Senate Bill 834, the School District Empowerment Program, has been approved by the state Senate and now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration. The bill removes many of the state mandates from local school districts to give local school boards more control.
The state's most powerful labor union doesn't like this idea of school deregulation. Oklahoma Education Association advocacy specialist Linda Hendrix curiously averred, "We've seen how great deregulating is in the economic situation."
Where? When? "Under Bush, Congress passed one of the most onerous financial regulations in Sarbanes-Oxley, and added more than 1,000 pages per year in regulations to the Federal Register," Commonwealth Foundation scholar Nathan A. Benefield reminds us. Moreover, "the mortgage crisis was a failure of government. Government actors, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the Community Reinvestment Act encouraged subprime lending. The Federal Reserve's effort to manipulate the U.S. economy by lowering, raising, lowering, and raising interest rates contributed to the boom in housing sales and prices, and then to the rise in mortgage defaults and foreclosures."
[UPDATE: A unionized school teacher in Tahlequah adds: "Remember how deregulation got us into trouble on Wall Street? Why would we want that in our schools?" A unionized school teacher in Moore is also sticking to the talking points: "Take a look at the financial markets. That's a good example of what's wrong with our country today -- economic deregulation. Are we gonna do the same with public education?"]
If the union is under the impression that a wave of deregulation has been sweeping Washington, D.C. or Oklahoma City, I'd sure like to know more about it.
This video explains how misguided government policies helped to create the housing bubble, which eventually led to the current financial crisis: