Instead of looking in the mirror, the school board announced this week that its solution to the district’s serial failures was to file a lawsuit against the state for allegedly underfunding the schools. Let’s begin with the fact that Oklahoma courts have consistently and wisely held that the constitution exclusively vests the authority to determine the proper level of school funding in the Legislature.
Even more infuriating than the board’s vacuous legal arguments are its dishonest factual ones. The board claims that the Legislature has cut common school funding when, in fact, in the face of a vicious recession in the energy industry, it has increased appropriations from $2.37 billion in 2013 to $2.43 billion in 2018. While almost every other state agency has had its budget seriously slashed, the state Legislature has prioritized common education, sparing it from cuts time and time again. The most brazen lie told by the board was the fantasy that the Legislature cut funding for textbooks, when, in fact, upon request by the educators themselves, all it did was provide schools the flexibility to spend the same pool of money on what the schools thought most important. Lies, no matter how often they are repeated, remain lies. Let’s not even discuss how inept you have to be, in the face of the emotions unleashed by the crimes and conflict of Charlottesville, to suggest changing the names of schools without first researching what they really are.
Filing bogus lawsuits, carelessly indulging in political correctness, pining after destructive tax increases – these are the hallmarks of the unreconstructed left. In the past, the district’s leaders, no matter their personal ideology, have never been so stupid as to gratuitously alienate the conservatives who dominate the political, social and economic establishment of this city and, for almost two decades, have faithfully supported the district. Those days appear to be gone, and, as night follows day, barring change, the support will go as well.