Thursday, January 28, 2021
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Friday, January 22, 2021
|Joe Biden and OEA president Alicia Priest
[Guest post by Jonathan Small]
inauguration means Democrats now hold narrow control of Congress and the
presidency. But it does not mean advocates for freedom have no way to impact
Even when the
far-left holds power in Washington, the states remain the place where
innovative policy advances are most likely to occur. That should prompt
advocates for freedom to redouble their efforts here in Oklahoma.
This would be
true at the start of any presidential term, but it’s especially important this
year as the disruption created by COVID-19 and the gaping flaws it exposed in
our state systems have created public demand for change.
For example, the lack of consistent, quality, in-person instruction in public schools has fueled strong demand for parent choice in education. That will bolster Oklahomans’ influence in urging lawmakers to offer all parents a “ticket out.” Whether a parent wants a new option because their child’s geographically assigned school is little more than a supplier of ultra-“woke” indoctrination, isn’t sufficiently academically preparing kids, or because it will not reopen due to teacher union opposition, all parents deserve options.
The path to reclaiming power at the federal government lies in proving the superiority of your ideas at the levels of government you do control. That means advocates for freedom who are worried about what happens in Washington, D.C., need to be just as concerned about what’s happening “under the dome” in Oklahoma City.
Thursday, January 21, 2021
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Saturday, January 16, 2021
Friday, January 15, 2021
[Guest post by Jonathan Small]
Status-quo defenders insist waste, fraud, and
mismanagement in state government are overhyped. Then how do they explain
Oklahoma schools being paid to educate more than 55,000 “ghost students”?
Ghost-student funding has been in place for
years, but COVID-19 has put it on steroids.
Oklahoma law distributes state funding based
on several factors, one of which is “the highest weighted average daily
membership for the school district of the two (2) preceding school years.”
Put in plain English, that means a school can
be paid for students who attended two years ago but are no longer there. Thus,
even amidst a significant enrollment decline, districts receive huge sums for
“teaching” nonexistent “ghost” students.
This funding farce is now too big to ignore.
Due to COVID-19 and several districts’ refusal to provide full-time, in-person
instruction, there has been a mass exodus to alternatives, including credible
online providers such as Epic, other districts, private schools, and
Newly released enrollment figures show
Oklahoma schools can now claim more than 55,000 ghost students this year via the use of old enrollment numbers. If ghost students were confined to a single
school district, it would be larger than any brick-and-mortar district in
consequences of ghost-student funding are not minor. The state-aid figure for
2021 is $3,533.17 per student, so those 55,000-plus ghost students translate
into at least $195.1 million in misallocated funding.
Just 22 districts
account for more than 55 percent of ghost students. Oklahoma City has nearly
6,800 ghost students while Tulsa has 3,291. Those ghost-student payments are on
top of money both districts receive for other students who have not received
full-time, in-person instruction this year. Because of that poor service, the
share of high-school students flunking at least one class in Oklahoma City has
surged to 59 percent, and the failure rate in other districts has doubled or
tripled, according to KWTV.
funding particularly harms rural schools that have remained open. Those schools
have been teaching children, and often steer clear of the political
indoctrination seen elsewhere, yet they are being shorted financially for doing
their job as other school officials play political games.
One reason school leaders in urban areas have
been so indifferent to the needs of families is that ghost-student funding
shields them from the full financial consequences of their shutdown decisions.
Schools need to be
held accountable for performance. Tying funding to current-year
enrollment can be part of that process, although the best reform would be to
let tax funding follow the child and empower parents to independently pick any
school, whether public or private.
Those of us in the private sector don’t get paid unless we provide promised goods or services to customers. There’s no reason schools should be any different.
Saturday, January 9, 2021
dangerous rules adopted by the Democrat leadership of the U.S. House of
Representatives. Under those rules, House legislation will no longer refer to a
father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, nephew, niece, husband, wife,
etc. Instead, legislation will use phrases such as parent, child, sibling,
parent-in-law, and child-in-law.
The new House
rules even ban the use of the words “himself or herself” and instead mandate
that “themself” will be used instead.
don’t want to “risk” referring to someone as male who wants to be referred to
as female, regardless of biological reality. In fact, U.S. House Democrats and
some Oklahoma Democrats are trying to force boys and men in girls’ bathrooms
and males in girls’ sports.
credit, Oklahoma Congressman Stephanie Bice, a mother of two girls who
represents Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District, saw right through the scheme
and voted against this insane rule.
But don’t think this danger is confined to D.C. Indeed, Democrats in the Oklahoma House of Representatives tried a similar scheme this week and tried to bring a version of Pelosi’s rules to Oklahoma.
such dangerous, anti-science, and destructive thinking start? It starts in big
unions like the Oklahoma Education Association, which opposed Congressman Bice,
endorsed far-left Democrat Kendra Horn as well as team Joe Biden and Kamala
Harris, and is proliferated in urban K-12 public schools and
on uplifting American values and our kids must be stopped. The best way to stop
it is to give parents and students a lifeline out of environments that are
trying to force socialist, anti-American views overtly and subversively on our
Oklahoma Republican lawmakers can and should address this threat in this year's legislative session. They can do this by giving parents control over where their kids are required to go to school.
Lawmakers can give any parent who wants it the option to change their
child’s school to the public or private school of their choice by letting their
tax dollars assigned for their child’s education follow the child to the school
of the parent’s choice. We allow this kind of choice and parental control in
many other government programs. It’s time for that to apply in K-12.
If we want to stop the spread of anti-American and anti-Oklahoma values in Oklahoma by the socialists in D.C., if we want to prevent rural Oklahoma from having to subsidize and be negatively impacted by the indoctrinating insanity going on in public education in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, it’s time to give control to parents and to Kamala-proof Oklahoma.