Lost in the sea of bigoted legislation that’s been recently proposed by his House colleagues, Josh has recently introduced House Joint Resolution 1006. If passed by the legislature, it would put a state question on the ballot that could dramatically alter the way Supreme Court Justices are chosen in our state; changing the system from one where justices are vetted and nominated by a special committee and then appointed by the Governor, to a popular vote system where justices are elected by Oklahoma voters.
This is what Cockroft, who I believe was home schooled in the backyard shed with Carl from Sling Blade, wrote about HJR 1006 on Facebook. Prepare to have your mind blown…
New Oklahoma State School Superintendent Joy Hofmeister is off to a good start.
Of course, that should be expected.
You know how they say it’s hard to follow a legend? Well, it’s pretty damn easy to follow a complete failure. The best thing to ever happen to Bob Stoops was John Blake, and the best thing to ever happen to Joy Hofmeister was Janet Barresi. Right now, Joy can do no wrong. Thanks to Barresi, just showing up to work at the Oklahoma Department of Education and being nice to people is considered an accomplishment. That’s why I don’t think we should even call Joy by her real name. Instead, I propose we call her Joy Not Janet Barresi, because that’s essentially what she is.
Anyway, Joy Not Janet Barresi announced yesterday that she is seeking a $5,000 year pay raise for state teachers. When Janet Barresi heard the news, she hopped on a magical sleigh pulled by recently flunked third graders and flew off into the sunset, vowing to plot a terrible revenge.
Here are the details via NewsOK.com:
New state schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister is asking the Legislature for an extra $205 million to fund teacher pay raises and additional instruction days as part of a five-year plan “to secure education excellence.”
Hofmeister revealed the plan to members of a Senate appropriations committee during a Monday budget hearing. It calls for teacher raises of $2,000 and two additional days of instruction in the 2015-2016 school year.
“If we’re going to see the kinds of outcomes that I insist we see for our students and that I believe everyone in this room desires, it’s going to take increased instructional days and it’s also going to mean that we are able to attract and retain top talent,” she said.
State Board of Education members are expected to consider the proposal — part of a revised fiscal year 2016 budget request totaling nearly $2.1 billion — on Thursday.
In October, the board unanimously approved a $2.78 billion budget request by then-Superintendent Janet Barresi for fiscal year 2016 that included $2,500 salary increases for about 50,000 teachers and other certified personnel.
Hofmeister, who took office Jan. 12, is seeking to elevate teacher pay to the regional average and the number of days of instruction to the national average. By the 2019-2020 school year, Oklahoma teachers would receive $5,000 pay increases over 2012-2013 figures and schools would add five days of instruction under the five-year plan.
“This allows us to finally become competitive,” Hofmeister told the committee.
So, the proposed raise will be phased in over the next five years? That’s great. It will give our neighboring states just enough time to bump pay for their own teachers, ensuring that Oklahoma stays in its traditional spot of 48th in the country in teacher pay.
I guess we could focus on that, but something is better than nothing. One thing we can all agree on is that Oklahoma teachers are underpaid and we need to keep the good ones from fleeing to other states, so giving them an overdue raise is a smart thing to do and everyone should be for it.
Cue the Oklahoma Legislature…
No wonder our state’s budget is so screwed up…
We received a tip today via the Ogle Mole Network that Preston Doerflinger, the Oklahoma Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology, was booked on a municipal complaint of “Actual Physical Control” at around 1:30 this morning.
The charge is very similar to a DUI. Basically, it’s what cops throw at people who are over the limit and inside the vehicle, but not operating it. Or as this attorney who may get Doerflinger as a new client puts it:
Simply put, if you go to a bar, have too much to drink, and then decide to sleep it off in your car, you could be arrested and charged with APC.
Not only do you not have to drive the vehicle, the car doesn’t even have to be turned on or the keys in the ignition to be charged with APC.
If you’re curious, here are more details of the law.
We located the log of Doerflinger’s arrest in the OKCPD blotter. They cannot release the police report about the arrest until Monday morning, but we were able to get our hands on Preston’s mug shot.
Here it is:
We’re only a few weeks away from the start of the
2014 2015 legislative session, and already some of the crazy is starting to sweep down the plains.
Yesterday, NewsOK.com reported that Oklahoma State Rep. Todd Russ, pictured above in his 2014 “Funeral Home Operator” Halloween costume, wants to eliminate marriage licenses. Obviously, he feels this way because the government shouldn’t have anything to do with something personal like marriage, unless of course, it can restrict who gets married.
I guess we know what Mary Fallin will look like when she’s finally frozen in carbonite.
Yesterday, a bronze bust of our amazing governor was unveiled to the world as part of the Inauguration Day festivities at the Oklahoma Capitol. It was the day’s second biggest highlight, topped only by Mary raising her wrong hand when it was time to take the oath of office.
Yes, that actually happened. Here’s a screenshot:
That’s not too surprising. I don’t blame Mary for getting all flustered when the judge asked her to raise her right hand. She really didn’t have time to hold her hands up and see which one formed an “L.” Plus, at least she didn’t screw up like last time and say she wanted to offend our constitution:
You can watch the entire ceremony over at C-SPAN, but let me warn you, it’s pretty long, tedious, cold and boring. I know because I watched it last night. I viewed it from the comfort of my living room and even I got the chills.
Here are a few other random notes and observations:
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