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“Upholding the Oklahoma Standard means coming together to serve the greater good, and for too long, we have dishonored our values by putting politics first while our state budget is in freefall and our public education system is being systematically dismantled by destructive state funding cuts. When we should be making headlines about being a destination for families to live and businesses to thrive, we are instead in the national spotlight for failing to fix an ongoing structural deficit and for hemorrhaging teachers to our neighboring states. Just last week, US News and World Report ran a headline that reads ‘Oklahoma to slash mental health, drug abuse programs.’ This is not the Oklahoma Standard for service and honor – this is disgraceful, embarrassing, and immoral.
“We have the responsibility to educate our children, and we cannot do that without investing in our schools. Our children deserve the Oklahoma that has ‘plenty of heart and plenty of hope,’ not a state with a crumbling infrastructure and chronic under-investment in critical programs and services. I urge all Oklahomans to raise their voices by contacting your legislators to let them know that we expect them to pass a plan that puts our state budget on a viable path forward to a brighter future. We all agree that it is past time to fix this problem, and I know that we can get this done and put Oklahoma back on track to prosperity.”