Legislators, Teachers Discuss Solutions To Education Crisis
TULSA, Oklahoma - A face-to-face meeting organized by an education advocacy group put local lawmakers in the same room with the people they represent.
The conversation, organized by 'Stand for Children,' focused on ways representatives can develop a sustainable plan to fund education.
For the people who filled the room for coffee and conversation, the meeting played a huge role in getting questions answered about how and when a solution will finally be found.
Emotions were high yet calm as teachers and parents shot off questions.
Republican representative Carol Bush and Democratic representative Monroe Nichols were present to answer the questions.
"It's very heartening because see them doing what they were meant to do all along is work together," said Shawna Mott-Wright, education advocate and lobbyist.
She spends her Tuesdays at the capital demanding education funding solutions.
"The deeper the cuts the more it hits home in everyone's home and people have woken up and started paying attention," Mott-Wright said.
With so many people feeling the cuts, Stand for Children organized the "Coffee and Conversation" to bring legislators directly to the people.
"It is critical that we find a structural solution to our budget so we don't keep doing the same thing year after year," said Melissa Abdo with Stand for Children.
Some of the solution ideas included raising taxes based on yearly incomes, eliminated tax breaks for the wealthy, minimizing the number of school districts and raising taxes on oil and gas produced in Oklahoma.
Solutions are even more important now and organizers said failure could put the future of teaching even more at risk.
The people who filled the room and even representatives urge people to get out and go to the capital and talk directly to their representatives.
To find out how you can take part in that, email Mott-Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.