We remember when Oklahoma first considered approving the lottery in our state — with the promise that it would solve much of our educational funding woes. The promise helped former Gov. Brad Henry attain the top office in our state, but over the years, the benefits haven’t been quite good as expected.
Almost without fail, any news story related to money for Oklahoma schools will attract commenters bitterly pointing out they thought the lottery was supposed to solve our education funding problems. So why hasn’t the lottery gotten Oklahoma out of the bottom rungs for education funding? The short answer is that the lottery helps some, but the boost it provides is far less than what has been cut from other revenue sources in recent years. For the long answer, read on.
Perhaps we should have listened to this guy instead:
Needed: Henry by another name
My solution to Oklahoma’s economic and education mess was to manage the state in a more businesslike manner and market the state’s attributes across the nation. We have some of the lowest-priced housing and office space in America, so we are an extremely attractive place to live, work and do business with great workers and low taxes. Our vo-tech system is the best in the nation and our public schools were improving until the state hit the skids. My solution was based on building our state, not on a gamble.