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Letter of the Month winner: Thad Leffingwell of Stillwater

Oklahoman Published: March 4, 2012

Approximately 4,000 teachers in Oklahoma schools are promised this bonus each year. These individuals and families count on this payment. They factor it into annual family budgets. They spend it in their communities to support local businesses. They put it in college savings accounts for their children. They spend it on supplies for their classrooms and gifts for their students.

Oklahoma's Republican-controlled state government simply walked away from this obligation. Jan. 31 was the day that more than 4,000 board-certified teachers, speech language pathologists and school psychologists would have gotten the $5,000 owed them by the state. Those checks won't arrive. IOUs won't arrive. Will these teachers “occupy” the Capitol? Will hundreds call in “sick?” No. They will show up for work. They will educate, encourage and inspire their students. They'll help children overcome the stigma of stuttering or disability. They'll serve children in crisis and catastrophe.

Thad Leffingwell, Stillwater