Editor’s Note: We discovered the following article in the public Facebook group called Effort SOS. The group consists of educators, political leaders, parents, and other stakeholders who wish to “save our schools.”
By Michael Palmer
Most of you know me. I’m a 32 year retired educator. Obviously, I have defended public schools for a long time…I continue even in retirement. My wife continues to teach (33rd year) 4-5th grade Social Studies at Silo Elementary. My grandfather was a Superintendent. My grandmother was a teacher. My father was a teacher. My oldest daughter and her husband are teachers and coaches at Washington High School. My number two daughter was teaching at Rock Creek Elementary, until this year, taking off to have a baby. Her husband is teacher and coach at Rock Creek High School.
I say all that to say this: I am still invested in public education. My grandchildren attend public schools. I believe in public education.
“The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves.”
— John Adams, U.S. President, 1785
I also wish to enlighten you on a company that many of you have partnered with in the last year to two. The Oklahoma Public School Resource Center (OPSRC) “provides schools resources they need to unburden administrators, support teachers, and engage students”. I think on the surface they have some good services. However, are you aware who funds them? One of the funding organizations is “The Walton Family Foundation.” If you would like to start a Charter School in Oklahoma, OPSRC is the place to begin this process. Are you aware that this “Foundation” is a member of American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). If you are not familiar with ALEC and its funding partners, you should be.
Given the state of public education and our legislature, and the push for vouchers or ESA’s, we must as public school educators band tightly together. We must call our legislators. We must encourage them to vote against ESA’s.