Two state lawmakers are chastising Oklahoma school districts that have chosen to give teachers and students a day off so they can lobby for more education funding at the state Capitol.
“It's indefensible for government entities to use government resources to lobby government for more taxpayer money for more government,” Rep. Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie, said in a news release. “It's also extremely inappropriate for government entities to pressure their employees to take time away from their important duties to lobby for money for that entity.”
State Rep. Mike Turner, R-Oklahoma City, agreed.
“This sort of behavior should not be tolerated by our schools or any other state agency participating in this gross abuse of your hard-earned money,” Turner said.
Turner and Murphey were reacting to stories about plans by Tulsa, Sand Springs and many other Oklahoma school districts to give students March 31 off so that they can join teachers, faculty and administrators in traveling to the state Capitol to lobby for increased education funding.
Sand Springs Superintendent Lloyd Snow said he believes as many as 300 districts may join in the rally and he believes that is totally appropriate, including the use of school buses to transport participants.
“We are going to make up the day for kids,” Snow said. “The buses are routinely leased and they'll be privately funded…. This is a big deal. It's about kids and education and it's about communities coming together to support education…. It's a day to pause and really reflect on what's important in the state of Oklahoma.”
The Oklahoma City school district is not planning to participate in the rally, said Tierney Tinnin, district spokeswoman.