Editorial: To the Oklahoma State Legislature

Senator Dan Newberry,

I hope this contact finds you in good spirits. I am writing as a citizen of your district, a resident of the 74063, to request your vote AGAINST SB609's creation of a scholarship savings program that would in any way shape or form direct monies towards private schools that could and should otherwise be used for the improvement of our public education programs. 

Private schools should remain in the private sector. Parents already have the option to remove their child from public schooling, they should not however be allowed to remove funding from our public schools and redirect it to an entity that does not exist for the public. I do not get a refund for roads I don't drive on for the use of improving my private driveway. Neither should private schools be funded by public money that should be used for the good of the whole community. 

As a passionate supporter of our public education system, I will be unable to vote for any senator or representative who would seek to remove even a penny from our already dismal public education funding. With Oklahoma already near the bottom of the nation in per-pupil funding, it is absurd to consider removing money from a starving school system. 

I hope you will do what is right by our young people and continue to invest in their education. Oklahoma should be making every effort to improve our public schools, not throwing in the towel and giving up on them. 

I hope to see your name not just in opposition of this bill, but in favor of bills that will increase our public education funding, especially in terms of teacher pay. It's time to end the exodus of teachers to Texas and other neighboring states. It's time we establish competitive pay for our educators so that we may attract the best and brightest. It's time to acknowledge that our single greatest asset is our children and that our responsibility is to build for them a better future and give them the tools necessary to build one for themselves. ESA is not the answer and it does not represent the values of Oklahomans. 

Thank you for your service to our community and thank your for your time in reading this email. I trust we can count on you to make the right decisions for our children. Our community looks to you for leadership, please don't let us down. 


Scott Emigh