Every legislative session without fail, some utterly useless pile of human waste authors legislation that causes a stir for teachers. This last tango included House Bill 1749 (Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-epulsive, and Representative Tom Sewell, R-idiculous) made it illegal for teacher unions to have payroll deductions to pay for union dues of their membership. Of course, it's one of those bills that make the red-meat-eating Super-Republicans salivate, but like many of the bills being hatched by the GOP legislature, it will be shot down as unconstitutional and, well, stupid.
According to the Tulsa World, Representative Newell had this to say:
“I’m not an attorney. As we were drafting the bill, I talked to our staff attorneys that help us,” Newell said. “This was a controversial bill so there were lots of attorneys who looked at it. I was not aware there were any questions about the wording of the bill.”
But I digress.
Yes, the Legislature has staff attorneys at their disposal (Fred Morgan was one for the Senate), but apparently these folks must be college buddies or drinking pals or something because they are way off the mark in telling Sewell that this was a bill that would pass constitutional muster.
Your tax dollars hard at work, y'all. But that's the "Oklahoma Standard," isn't it?
Teachers are instrumental in our society and an invaluable resource. Hell, I believe that the Legislature gets paid more than the teachers at this point, but teachers sure put a burr in the saddle of the GOP sycophants. I suppose on some level we have only ourselves to blame for this type of bovine feces. We keep electing these window-licking clowns with IQs barely above room temperature and we expect something more?
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As Ronald Reagan once said to a friend of mine who served in the Reagan Administration, "Sometimes, we just have to do the right thing because it IS the right thing." In this case, the right things to do are to leave the teachers alone, pay them better, flush that merit-pay tripe down the toilet, and do our jobs as parents to teach our children that school is a place for an education, not a free-for-all panty raid of adolescent hormone surges. When our children act up, discipline. Teach our kids to respect authority and guess what happens? The whole of academia will benefit.
Oh, and if you're wondering where the funding for teacher raises would come, take these measures:
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2. Make our part-time legislature truly be part time. They should convene every two years and be paid accordingly. This is Oklahoma, people. There isn't that much going on really, except for the Thunder and college football.
3. Eliminate a percentage of ad valorem tax breaks given to oil and gas companies, and dedicate the revenue for teacher pay. And don't start rending your garments and bathing in sack cloth and ashes. If you think that they can't afford it, just go downtown and look at the Devon phallus that towers over the other buildings. No. They aren't making a statement or anything...
4. Cut the Quality Jobs Program in half. The screening process should be much more stringent anyway and anyone who argues that Oklahoma needs incentives for businesses to locate here probably works for the Chamber. Cut the budget in half, give difference to teachers.
Of course, this is just my opinion and I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt it.
Let's go do some good with whatever time we have left. It might not be very long.