Thursday, April 9, 2009

'I guess there's no work to do back in the schools'

OCPA has many times spotlighted the unfortunate practice of public officials using your tax dollars to lobby for more of your tax dollars. And of course, public school officials -- no strangers to the marble corridors at 23rd and Lincoln -- are some of the most conspicuous violators.

Back in 2005 the president of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association, somewhat amused with the spectacle, remarked: "The school people are singing because I guess there's no work to do back in the schools. ... If the schools need more money, some of these superintendents that stand around at the Capitol all day, every day, ought to resign and come to work at the Capitol as lobbyists."

Well, that's just an evil capitalist speaking. But yesterday, corroboration came from the unlikeliest of sources: the Oklahoma Education Association. Yep, the state's most powerful labor union complained that "superintendents continue to lobby at the Capitol on most Tuesdays, driving school cars and spending school time, to lobby for SB 834."

Now as it happens, I'm in favor of SB 834 and I don't think the superintendents' primary motivation in this case is money. Still, it's really rich to hear the OEA complain about school officials "driving school cars and spending school time to lobby."

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