To understand how bad things are for teachers, children, and public schools in Oklahoma, read this article. 

Oklahoma is a red state that followed the ALEC script. Cut taxes, cut taxes, deregulate, cut taxes.

It was supposed to produce economic growth. It didn’t. It created massive deficits and underinvestment in public services.

Nearly 200 of the state’s 550 school districts were closed as 30,000 teachers rallied at the Capitol along with other public employees.

“Teachers are demanding that state legislators come up with $3.3 billion over the next three years for school funding, benefits, and pay raises for all public employees. On Monday, lawmakers didn’t give an inch.

“That made teachers even angrier…

”Oklahoma’s teachers are rebelling against a decade of state tax cuts that triggered deep cuts in education spending, forcing about 20 percent of public schools to switch to a four-day-week schedule and pushing average teacher salaries to rank 49th in the country. Teachers haven’t gotten a raise in 10 years.

“Oklahoma is still dealing with a budget crisis after lawmakers have slashed business taxes and top income tax rates year after year. A round went into effect in 2009; then taxes were lowered further in 2012 and 2014. The tax cuts were supposed to lead to an economic boom, but instead, they triggered a massive budget gap of about $1.5 billion each year.

“To deal with the shortfall, the government cut spending everywhere. The cuts to education were so deep that 20 percent of the state’s public schools had to switch to a four-day school week. Oklahoma teachers made an average salary of $45,276 in 2016, according to the National Education Association. The last time teachers got a raise from the state was in 2008.”

Who will be the first to admit that the ALEC playbook is a disaster? Will any legislator blame ALEC and resign?

Now that we know the bitter fruit of deep tax cuts year after year,  will the public wake up?