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Contact Info for Senate Finance Committee

February 23, 2015

I suppose it would be good to give you the email addresses for the Senate Finance Committee. I know the out-of-state forces that Rob Miller discussed last week have these. In fact, here’s the email I sent the committee this morning:

Sent: Mon 2/23/15 7:35 AM
To: mazzei@oksenate.gov (mazzei@oksenate.gov); brinkley@oksenate.gov (brinkley@oksenate.gov); dahm@oksenate.gov (dahm@oksenate.gov); david@oksenate.gov (david@oksenate.gov); fordj@oksenate.gov (fordj@oksenate.gov); halligan@oksenate.gov (halligan@oksenate.gov); jech@oksenate.gov (jech@oksenate.gov); jolley@oksenate.gov (jolley@oksenate.gov); paddack@oksenate.gov (paddack@oksenate.gov); quinn@oksenate.gov (quinn@oksenate.gov); Simpson@oksenate.gov (simpson@oksenate.gov); sparks@oksenate.gov (sparks@oksenate.gov); wyrick@oksenate.gov (wyrick@oksenate.gov); yen@oksenate.gov (yen@oksenate.gov)

Dear Senators,

I strongly urge you to vote No on SB 609. I have three critical reasons for opposing this measure.

First is that the bill fails to do what the rhetoric surrounding Education Savings Accounts proclaims: save poor students from failing schools. Even with ESAs in place, private schools don’t have to accept all students who apply. Public schools do. Instead of diverting funds away from the one organization that takes all children who come, maybe the legislature would better serve the state by properly funding public schools.

Second is that the bill provides no accountability. If the goal of the committee is to give parents a modicum of choice, maybe the better path would be to let them choose which school regulations apply to their children. As an administrator in Moore, I can tell you that most parents who have called me have been against the third­grade retention law since day one. That’s just one example. I know of many others, but most involve testing.

Third is that this bill sets up some kind of mysterious merit pay scheme. Until ALL teachers have significant raises, this idea is not worth pursuing. Rather than starving public education, the elected servants of the people of Oklahoma should look to heal it. Supporting SB 609 is the most divisive action you could pursue.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

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