Monday, March 12, 2018

Bartlesville School Board proposes $700M alternative to OEA's $3.3B plan

Amid the talk of a statewide teacher walkout and/or suspension of public school operations over teacher pay and education funding, the Bartlesville Public Schools Board of Education has released a "compromise" plan that they feel is much more realistic than the demand issued by the Oklahoma Education Association teacher's union.

While the OEA is calling for a $3.3 BILLION increase in state spending while not giving any suggestions on how to pay for it, the Bartlesville "The Time Is Now" plan is putting forward tax increase ideas to pay for a $700M increase that would include a teacher pay raise and additional money for education and other areas of state government.

The entire plan, as well as the Bartlesville School Board's arguments for it, can be found at While I might not agree with their plan, I give them credit for recognizing the sheer absurdity of the OEA's unrealistic proposal and putting together cogent arguments for a more restrained and realistic ask than the OEA's fantasy.

Even so, the Legislature did not have enough votes a month ago to pass a tax hike package that was $100M smaller than the Bartlesville plan.

Here are the main points of the Bartlesville plan (also viewable here):

They even include comparisons of their plan to the Step Up Oklahoma plan that failed in the State House, and the OEA's absurdly unrealistic plan.

'The Time Is Now' vs. 'Step Up Oklahoma' (click image to view larger):

'The Time Is Now' vs. the OEA's 'Together We're Stronger' plan (click image to view larger):

The Bartlesville School Board released this plan today at their board meeting today. You can read more of their arguments and reasonings at the website they've set up: