Commentary

Tue
27
Mar

Newest Teacher Pay Plan Announced by the House

The speaker of the House last week announced a teacher pay raise plan that would increase base salaries for all teachers by 5 percent beginning next school year and by $10,800 for all first-year teachers and $20,000 for 25-year teachers by the end of six years.

By the end of year six, 25- year career teachers would be earning $70,000 including benefits. This would make Oklahoma teachers the highest paid in the region, 18th in the nation and third-highest in the nation when accounting for cost-of-living.

 

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Tue
20
Mar

Working on a Solution to Increase Educators’ Pay

I’ve talked to many teachers throughout my district in the past few weeks about the potential of a walkout as they fight for additional pay.

I want to assure teachers and parents I am working night and day to find a solution that will increase pay for our educators and keep them in the classroom. At the same time, I’m seeking additional pay for state workers.

In 1990, teachers walked out of classrooms, resulting in House Bill 1017, which contained a number of education reforms and more money for schools. Teachers celebrated that success, but the public – mad about new taxes – responded by raising enough signatures on an initiative petition to place State Question 640 on the ballot.

 

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Tue
06
Mar

INSIDE THE CENTER

Another week has gone by with no rain. We must be doing something wrong because it’s all gone east of us.

We had our garage sale on Saturday but there wasn’t the turnout that I expected. The weather was warm enough but there was a lot of wind. We plan to leave the stuff out over the week, so you still have a chance to come look. There are still a lot of nice things.

 

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Tue
27
Feb

INSIDE THE CENTER

Iam hoping these Arctic fronts are over and warmer weather is on the way. I don’t understand why southeastern Oklahoma gets all this rain and our part of the state is so dry.

Our donations this week were cans and labels from Margie Smith and Mrs. Beavers brought in more cans.

 

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Tue
20
Feb

A State Senate Review by Senator Darcy Jech

Members of the State Senate convened this week for the first day of the legislative session. We met briefly in the Senate chamber, and then moved into joint session shortly thereafter in the House chamber to hear the Governor’s State of the State address.

Tue
20
Feb

The Next Steps

The Step Up Oklahoma plan was brought to a vote on the House floor on Monday. It failed to get the supermajority three-fourths vote required by the state Constitution to pass, ending with a vote of 63-35. It could be placed on a future state ballot for a vote of the people.

The plan would have raised revenue in a variety of ways to fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and to shore up state health care services for those most in need. A portion of the money would have gone towards roads and bridges.

While it was disappointing to some that the plan failed, I’ve explained in previous columns that there were concerns by many on both sides of the political aisle with the amount of revenue sought and the sources from which it would be derived. There are some portions of the plans that still have merit, and may be brought forward in the future. Several reform measures in the plan would give us greater oversight of agency spending; these need to pass, and I believe they will.

Tue
13
Feb

INSIDE THE CENTER

These weeks pass so fast, but I don’t seem to get as much done as I should. I guess along with old age, I’m getting a little lazy. My ‘to do’ list isn’t getting any shorter.

Our donations at the center this week were cans from Mrs. Beavers and labels from Mary Mangold. Estalene Teply told me she had sent off the labels this last week. I don’t know how much money we get for them, but every little bit helps the center.

 

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Tue
06
Feb

INSIDE THE CENTER

We’re starting a new month this week and if February goes as fast as January, it will be spring soon. I just wish we could get some rain.

Our donations this week were cans from Elaine Compton and labels from Loretta Grove and Jo Weber. We really appreciate the donations.

 

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Tue
23
Jan

Shake, Blend & Moan

It's been a week since I started on my weight loss journey and all I can say is "Help."

I can say I'm grateful that my daughter and I didn't join that club where you have to weigh in every week under the watchful eye of the lady who missed her calling as a drill sergeant. I still haven't gotten over the shame of being the only one to gain five pounds in the first month. The one who gained instead of losing got to take home the "trophy" – a golden- colored chicken leg. I still have it in the attic somewhere since no one else has ever gained that much. I can't help it if I'm a nervous eater. I thought only five pounds was good – for me.

 

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Tue
16
Jan

Welcome to Diet Central

Last week I wrote about starting a new di . . . die . . . meal restricted weight loss plan even though it goes against every fiber of my being to do anything that might resemble a New Year's resolution. It was either go on a you-know-what or be declared my own county with state status not far behind unless I dropped a bunch of weight. Right now, the size I am, I'd be afraid to go into the woods during hunting season wearing anything brown.

So far all I've lost is my patience, my taste buds, my will to live and possibly my mind, although these days it's hard to tell. It's been missing for some time now, and it's only been a week! I never did have a lot of patience. Surprise, surprise.

 

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