Oklahoma protesters rally for public school funding

More than 25,000 protesters are expected at a rally at the Oklahoma State Capitol today that will call on the state’s legislators to do a better job staffing and funding the public schools in the state, as reported by The Oklahoman.

The Brighter Future rally is organized by the Oklahoma Parent Teacher Association and more than 60 school districts have cancelled classes so that teachers, students and parents can attend the rally that has been taking place for over a decade. Whether the legislators listen or not remains to be seen, but it would be in their best interest to do so.

Oklahoma ranks below the national average when it comes to academic achievement and chances for success for its students, according to Education Week’s 2015 Quality Counts report. For K-12 achievement, Oklahoma received an “F” ranking, as well as for education spending. It’s reasonable to surmise that there is a connection between both things — without properly funded schools with highly-trained (and adequately paid) teachers, students will not be able to reach their full potentials.

The protest’s organizers hope to double last year’s numbers and have 50,000 people at the rally today. A gathering of that size will hopefully collect the attention needed for some real change to take place when it comes to the public schools in the state and the children who attend them. The connection between public school funding and staffing, and the success of its students, is very clear. To best guide this generation of K-12 students into an economically-healthy future for the state, Oklahoma needs to put the right funding behind its public schools.

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