80 days until election day! Several statewide candidates, district candidates, county, and city candidates. US Senatorial and Congressional candidates. That's a lot of candidates on which to educate yourself!
Speaking of education, a decision we must make in November, voting yes or NO on State Question 744. The gist of the state question, is that we must bring funding levels in Oklahoma up to the same level as the regional average. A region that includes Texas in its funding average, but won't include Oklahoma. That's right, the formula will NOT include Oklahoma.
Several key politicians in our state including Janet Barresi, Mary Fallin, Todd Lamb, and Randy Brogdon are against the measure. It's estimated to cost the state of Oklahoma $850 million dollars, but doesn't provide a way to generate the revenue. What does that mean? Cutting funding for other areas or tax increases.
At a recent gubernatorial forum, Jari Askins, Drew Edmondson, and Randy Brogdon all agreed that the ballot measure would be bad for Oklahoma.
“If it looks like it has momentum and may pass, I may speak out more publicly than I already have.”
- Governor Brad Henry to Oklahoman Editorial Board after saying he opposes SQ 744
”I want to make our schools better and I want every child in this state to get a good education. Unfortunately, SQ 744 doesn’t do that. What it does do is place an enormous unfunded mandate on the state at the worst possible time: right in the middle of a recession and a serious budget crisis.”- Oklahoma Congresswoman Mary Fallin
“It has consequences far beyond what the promoters believe. It will cause problems.”
- Lt. Governor Jari Askins
”I haven’t heard anything that would convince me to be in favor of it.”
- Attorney General Drew Edmondson
Yet a recent poll says the voters are in favor of the measure. 65% of those polled intend on voting yes on SQ 744. To add fuel to the fire the National Education Assoc. has donated $3 million to the proponents of ballot measure. That's more than either candidate running for governor will spend.
Talking to one local TV station, they reported that the Yes on 744 campaign had already placed an advertising buy on their station in excess of $200,000. That's just on one TV station. Get ready for an ad war this election cycle. This one may be so intense we may forget who's running for governor.