Our state government is in the midst of a revenue crisis. Unfortunately, our schools –including our teachers and our students – are bearing the brunt of more than a decade of state funding cuts.
We are near the bottom of all states in teacher pay, driving teachers out of state or out of the profession.
We have nearly 2,000 emergency certified teachers in our classrooms.
Hundreds of school districts have resorted to four-day school weeks to save money.
Public education is the largest recipient of state revenues. When the state suffers a revenue shortfall, education takes a huge hit. That has been going on for many years now.
The revenue problem is worsened by the legislature’s preference for giving special tax breaks to various industries, foregoing hundreds of millions of dollars that could be used educate our children and pay our teachers a competitive wage.
We can no longer ignore the mass exodus of our most qualified teachers. Many of our best and brightest teachers have left. Thousands more will surely follow if we remain near the bottom of teacher pay.
Let’s put our future – our children – first for a change!
State Question 795 will raise approximately $300 million a year by restoring the state’s production tax on oil and natural gas – generally called the gross production tax or GPT – to its historical rate of 7%.
This move will mostly affect mega-oil companies, many headquartered out of state. Even after increasing this tax back to where it was for more than 30 years, and where remains for 70% of Oklahoma wells, our tax rate on oil and gas will still be the lowest among major energy states.
And it won’t cost Oklahoma consumers a dime!