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Chicken-Fried News: Patron saint

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Teachers from Ada to Zaneis applauded Saint David of Norman, patron saint of Oklahoma educators, when they heard his response to Gov. Mary Fallin’s recent State of the State speech.

Boren might serve as president of the University of Oklahoma, but his passion is fighting for teachers and pushing for increased funding in common education.

After listening to the Republican governor say education “remains my biggest priority in my budget” and mention a $3,000 teacher pay raise.

Saint David shook his head no.

“It’s time for a comprehensive funding plan for education,” the former governor said in a prepared statement released to Tulsa World. “The patient is in serious condition, and a Band-Aid is not enough. The people deserve a chance to vote for a real solution.”

Fallin included $178 million in her budget proposal for teacher raises. The pay increase comes after making further cuts in other education spending areas and requiring smokers to pay more tax on cigs.

“We can do it without raising the state sales tax rate to the highest level in the nation,” Fallin said during her State of the State speech on Feb. 1. “We can do it. I’m excited about it.”

In other words, Fallin is “excited” about further hurting public schools and pushing a “sin tax” on Oklahomans.

Boren’s not interested in a Band-Aid approach. Instead, he wants to stop the bleeding. This week, Oklahoma’s Children Our Future began collecting signatures to put a state question on the November ballot. Through a proposed statewide penny sales tax increase for education, every Oklahoma teacher would see a $5,000 pay raise. Additionally, the group, which Saint David spearheaded, wants to raise student achievement and make state colleges more affordable.

Boren’s effort in education funding and teacher pay raises is laudable. That’s why people are ready to sign the petition and carry around a silver medal featuring Saint David of  Norman.

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