By Hemant Mehta
This Tuesday, Oklahoma will hold its primaries for the upcoming election, and Chuck Strohm will be running for re-election in the state’s House of Representatives. After narrowly winning the Republican primary in 2014, he cruised to victory in 2016 and hopes to repeat that this year. That shouldn’t be too difficult coming from a deeply red district.
Still, coming from a state where public education is a hot mess, Strohm released a “blueprint” for to handle the issue over the weekend. His solutions would turn a hot mess into a flaming dumpster fire.
It would take a long time to go through the entire 48-page document and point out all the problems, but let me highlight some key concerns.
The biggest one may be that, while teachers are protesting stagnant wages and cuts to education funding, Strohm is miffed that they went on strike even after they received a raise (emphasis his).
For decades the state of Oklahoma grappled with the issue of funding for public schools. Just this spring, the legislature acted by passing a historic teacher pay raise averaging 16 percent.
Then, in proof that fact is often stranger than fiction, teachers engaged in a two-week long strike — after the pay raise was signed into law by the Governor! As a State Representative, I have never seen anything like it, and those who’ve worked at the Capitol for decades told me they had never seen anything like this…. not ever. The level of hostility, and the number of angry, disrespectful and threatening contacts was unprecedented.
He neglects to mention that teachers were upset because the raise wasn’t enough to meet their sensible demands; neither was funding for schools.
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