Morning Bell: Gov candidates address teacher pay raises
Good Wednesday morning. Republican gubernatorial candidates continue to be asked about an effort to repeal a tax increase that was passed this year to pay for teacher pay raises.
“We just have to make sure that doesn’t happen,” said former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, speaking about the repeal effort. “We cannot sit idly by and let this process take this pay raise away from the teachers. The Legislature passed it, the governor signed it, it’s time to move on.”
Candidates addressed the issue at a forum at Jenks High School on Monday night, reports the Tulsa World.
Taking the opposing position was Tulsa attorney Gary Richardson, who said the raises could be paid without additional taxes by such things as tighter management of the state’s Medicaid program, eliminating toll roads and driving undocumented immigrants from the state.
“We don’t have a revenue problem,” Richardson said. “We have a spending problem, a waste problem, a corruption problem.”
KIPP board member appointed to OKC council
The Oklahoma City Council voted Tuesday to appoint Ward 7 Planning Commissioner Lee E. Cooper Jr. as the interim representative for the vacated Ward 7 Council seat. Cooper is also a board member of the KIPP Reach College Preparatory School.
New secretary of ed
Governor Mary Fallin announced June 5 that McLawhorn Houston will serve as the secretary of education and workforce development on her Cabinet. McLawhorn Houston was appointed in 2015 to fulfill the remainder of Labor Commissioner Mark Costello's term after he was killed in a stabbing. She is not running for re-election to the position.
Similarities between nurses and teachers
In a column for the Muskogee Phoenix, Wren Stratton wrote about the similarities between nursing and teaching. "Nursing and teaching have a great deal in common. Nurses do a great deal of teaching, and teachers do a fair amount of nursing," Wren wrote. "Neither profession gets the recognition they deserve either socially or financially for the jobs they do."
Stratton goes on to write, "Probably one of the greatest commonalities and challenges for both professions is understanding and valuing the diversity in our world."
State turns to relatives, friends to place foster kids
From Oklahoma Watch: Faced with a persistent need to find safe foster homes for children in crisis, but wanting to reduce the bouncing of children from home to home, human-services officials have turned to a new strategy: Find more relatives, friends or acquaintances immediately to take in the children. Don’t place them first in a traditional foster home. Don’t take them temporarily to a state-run shelter – the last one will be closing anyway. Reach out instead to families who have blood or other ties to the child or children, even if only indirect, and ask them if they’ll open up their home.
Have a great Wednesday!