Another #Oklaed Budget SNAFU – http://www.viewfromtheedge.net/?p=8772
A progressive roll in on marginal wells was jointly introduced by the Speaker of the House and the Pro-Temp of the Senate. It is a good start to reclaiming some of the revenue lost on marginal wells. The State should see in the neighborhood of $160 million of added revenue. We need to go deeper with the rollback/roll-in of tax incentives/credits but for the time this is about as good as we are going to get on the oil side. HOWEVER, We must look closer at wind. Although the tax structure is somewhat different we can still roll-in partial taxes outlined below. It is a win wind 😉 situation for everyone! Year #1 25%, #2 10%, year 3 10%, and year 4 5%. This brings the total paid at year for to just 50% of the taxes the wind companies would have or should have paid. Starting on year 5 the tax structure goes back to 25% and and so on and so on. It will work and it is honorable. Legislators, as you read this know that I understand the business side and no one likes to pay in more and in this case very little at all, but………it is their duty to pull some wait. As much as businesses may talk about all the jobs they create and revenue they may generate for communities, the truth is….they are making money and this industry should carry its portion of the weight. Besides they are actually receiving millions in refunds while the pay zero in. My plan is simple and will work. Millions are there and our State needs it. Step up and be bold and take care of those who can not take care of themselves when it comes to these matters. It will work!!!!!!!! And thank you for looking for the WMD and finding as you did with marginal wells.
Originally post was at the beginning of this year:
We have seen multiple revenue failures since this was originally posted. The one cent sales tax will go before the people and a few bills dealing with easing the restrictions how school $$ may be spent. Other than that, talk is about it. Stopping some tax credits has been teased but nothing sound has surfaced that will make a significant difference. Gimmick ideals such as the smokers tax have been put forth and bonds that borrow against other state monies….and of course they will be paid back with interest. In essence all these things do is borrow time while getting upside down and no closer to solving the problem. It’s time to start making wise decisions and realizing that some ideologies need to be shelved and new ideals put into place. I still believe in a progressive but fair roll back on tax credit/incentive programs. I have outlined this somewhat below in item 2 . It will work. It may need tweaked here or their, but it is fair and non aggressive towards any company. At the end of year 4 the company’s start back over at 25% of what their taxes would be and move towards 50% in year 4. Simply start over again. This will generate more than $1 Billion a year. The majority of corporate businesses will see the value. It’s not easy to change but change we must. Below is the original post.
Revenue Failure is the new dirty word that we are all talking about. But for some it seems an opportunity… Those of us that know better are thinking, for who? Oh yes yes yes, its an opportunity for those in education to contemplate how they (we) are going to continue to give our students the best we have. We will teach, serve hot meals, transport and meet many other needs they have not because we have more revenue than ever “legislators” but because we took an “OATH”… Did you???
Now back to that opportunity you talked about… Admitting one has messed up is hard at times and I understand that ideology on the surface is a very intriguing thing. However, wisdom must trump ideology when the facts are presented as they were many times in the past that support taking a different path. So here are 4 ways to get back to a positive side of the revenue. ..
1. Do not allow tax cut to inniate.
2. Start progressive rollbacks on tax credits/incentives. Example: tax at yr1- 25%, yr2-10%, yr3-10%, yr4- 5% bring rollback tax to 50%. On horizontal drilling it would be $200 million/year. Not to pick on the oil producers at all (I was in the business) their are many more millions in other industries as well. I just use oil because our legislators put all their (ours) eggs in one barrel.
3- Allow school districts to use State controlled monies to be used as needed with no strings. This will allow the districts to utilize the monies to best support their students.
4- PASS the 1 cent sales tax. We need it. Our students need it!
If all these things were put into play overtime Oklahoma could see over 1 Billion in revenue per year more than is projected to date given our current circumstances.
It wont be easy. There will be every excuse in the book used. Some business may even say they will leave….but they wont. Oklahoma has been good to corporations and we will always treat them as a partner. We just need them to help carry more of the load than they have. Well, actually the same load the rest of us have carried. When its all said and done the State will be better equipped when down turns happen in the economy.
From where I sit barring any situation to drive (spike) oil prices back up, oil will continue to stay down if not creep a little lower. It will start rising due to a trade agreement the President signed a few days ago but should be a slower and much more stable growth. But who knows the good legislator says we are only one war away from prosperity! I hope that is not how we get there, sir…
So our part…spread the message that we seek accountability. We expect them to fix it the right way. Tweet & retweet, post on facebook, call your legislators or go see them in person. Feel free to post my Blog Post on your Facebook. I do not utilize that realm at this time. Anyway to get engaged! That IS who we are! United as ONE! Engaged on behalf of those who look up to US!
“UPDATE” #2 coming soon!
4 months ago this was the sequel to my blog post “Wisdom Put On Hold.” We saw the writing on the wall that their were those in certain positions that had a agenda. It was an agenda of their making! No matter the cost (as long as it wasn’t theirs) they would move full speed ahead just like they had for the past several years. Seeing this unfold during this time….Agents of Education across this State decided that the unwise decisions of a few could not and would not continue without the Light of Education being shown on the Stiff Necks and cruel intentions of those in charge. No more passes and no more darkness. The students, teachers, districts and the people of Oklahoma deserve better!
Below is the earlier blog:
In an earlier blog titled “wisdom put on hold” I wrote about a meeting(s) I had with several legislators during a time frame that span 5-7 years about the very thing we are facing now. As a matter of fact their are agents still among us that were part of those
meetings. In many of those meetings we urged the legislators to not reduce taxes and to take a long hard look at the tax incentives. A few of us who had been in the business awhile knew that legislators reliance on oil as the revenue generator was a high risk investment. That investment is of course our students, roads, prisons and many other State funded entities. We also knew that it was only a matter of time. We tried to tell them to find other ways to invest in the states economy. But they just wouldn’t listen. When we realized that they weren’t going to budge in their ideaology. One of the last things we said to them was don’t come to us years from now and want to consolidate schools and cut budgets saying the economy left us no choice. The truth is, you did have a choice! Year after year while the oil prices were up you found reasons to not fund pay raises or fund education back anywhere near 2008. No you made excuses! As late as last year,meaning 3 months ago you were urged to put a hold on the tax cut that cost nearly $150M. You see, I believe it was your plan from the start! Starve those schools out! Cut the number of districts while putting money in your friends pockets. Conspiracy theory….. more like conspiracy fact to me. Add ESA’s to the drainage and you get more devastation. But wait! Not all legislators and I will say most dont feel the way a few, do. They just were not given the proper time to review the legislation before voting. That needs to change. When in doubt vote NO! Myself along with other Agents of Education are willing to help where we can. Please except that help. One way or another we are all in this together. Our students deserve the best we can give not the watered down version of education. Stop the ESA’s. Its a nail in the coffin for many. Forget about consolidation and trust the experts to educate. We want to trust you….. so let us! We are United As ONE! Things can happen when the Agents of Education come calling…
Learning From Lyrics
Comparison is the Thief of Joy
By Johnathan Chase
April 16, 2016
“All of us do not have equal talent, but all of us should have an equal opportunity to develop our talents.”
~ John F. Kennedy
Learning is about discovering your purpose and passion in life. Schools should provide diverse pathways and opportunities for students to develop and unleash their special abilities and unique talents…not standardize them.
The school experience should be about ENCOURAGING and SUPPORTING students in their pursuit of diverse INTERESTS and personal ASPIRATIONS instead of RATING and SORTING students according to how well they master a set of common learning STANDARDS and one size fits all EXPECTATIONS.
Education reformers are more concerned with comparing how students perform on a standardized math and reading test than actually preparing our students for lifelong learning and providing a diversity of experiences so that every child has the opportunity to achieve their cognitive, creative, kinesthetic, musical, linguistic, intrapersonal, naturalistic, interpersonal, potential.
Testing and training students to meet common standards does not prepare them for the uncommon challenges of living and lifelong learning.
“All students should master a verifiable set of skills, but not necessarily the same skills. High schools fail so many kids partly because educators can’t get free of the notion that all students — regardless of their career aspirations — need the same basic preparation.
As states pile on academic courses, they give less attention to the arts and downplay career and technical education to make way for a double portion of math.Maintaining our one-size-fits-all approach will hurt many of the kids we are trying most to help.
Maybe the approach will just lead to another unmet education goal. But it won’t resolve the already high rate at which students drop out or graduate without the skills and social behaviors required for career success.”
Robert Lerman, “Are College and Career Skills Really the Same?” – The Business Desk / PBS NewsHour
It is well documented that students learn differently and they most certainly test differently. Teachers honor and respect the cognitive, social, and emotional differences in their students by differentiating instruction and that same approach should be applied to testing students.
Considering the diversity of student skills and abilities represented in our classrooms, it is foolish to define and predict student success in life based on a narrow and shallow set of testable math and reading skills.
A standardized test does not measure the diverse skills and cognitive abilities of our students in a reliable or respectful way.
A standardized test does not provide a reliable or comprehensive measure of student learning or the skill level they have attained. A standardized test measures a students ability to apply the testable skills he or she has learned at a particular moment in time and in a standardized way.
The fact that a student does not demonstrate the ability to properly apply a numeracy or literacy skill during the administration of a standardized test is not evidence or proof that the students has not acquired that skill.
A standardized test may reveal how a student performs at a moment in time, but it cannot determine and tell you why this happened or predict how the student will perform in the future.
There are so many factors and variables beyond the classroom that impact student performance on a standardized test that is misleading and false to claim that student scores are a reliable means of predicting “college readiness” or measuring teacher quality.
“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”
~ Peter Drucker
A standardized test does not provide meaningful information to support and improve student learning because the score only reveals what questions the student answered wrong, but not the reason why.
It would be foolish for a teacher to adjust or modify instructional practices based on a standardized test score when the new group of students they teach the following year have different cognitive abilities and disabilities.
The real time data that is generated by informal and formative classroom assessment ( informal + formative = informative) is the gold standard of effective student-centered classroom instruction, while the data generated by standardized and summative testing is about as useful and valuable as “fool’s gold”.
“Effective” teachers understand that actionable and meaningful feedback is essential to guide and support student learning, and this data should be provided “in the moment” while the student is actively engaged in a learning process.
Teachers should strive to meet the individual needs of their students, not the “needs” of standards or tests. There should be high academic expectations for all students, but to expect everyone, regardless of ability and disability, to meet those standards simultaneously and in the same way, is silly and inherently unfair.
Governments create an intolerable situation when they couple standardized tests with national standards and then impose sanctions or “high stakes” on schools and teachers when their students do not meet these standards on time and in a synchronized way.
Education reform programs, policies, and practices would certainly benefit from a lot more common sense, and a lot less Common Core.
“Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.”
~ Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776
There appears to have been a data-driven hijacking of the Common Core Standards.
The use of standardized tests to compare student performance devalues and ignores the most vibrant and vigorous components of the standards and abandons the promise of “deeper learning” which often leads to classroom instruction that is primarily test-centered rather than student-centered.
Standardized tests measure only specialized and discrete skills called for in the Commmon Core but they are not a comprehensive ruler or appropriate metric for measuring student agency and a wide array of essential non-cognitive skills.
The unfortunate decision to use standardized tests to evaluate student mastery AND teacher quality means classroom instruction is focused primarily on rigorous and standardized lessons that prepare students for assessments at a time when many would be better served by vigorous and nonroutine experiences helping them learn how to properly manage their attitutes, behaviors, and emotions.
K-12 education programs should focus much more instructional time on helping students acquire and practice soft skills, if they expect them to master and apply hard skills in appropriate and effective ways.
Preparing our students for the challenges of adulthood and employment is so much more than aligning classroom instruction with Common Core Standards or predicting their readiness for college and careers based on a standandardized test score.
Student engagement is essential for learning to occur in and out of the classroom and students are more likely to be engaged when they participate in nonroutine classroom activities and meaningful learning experiences that stimulate both their hearts and minds.
Common Core emphasis on a narrow and shallow set of measurable and testable hard skills rather than cultivating transferable and work-ready soft skills means our students will be as well prepared for the real “tests” of college and careers as a contractor with a “fully loaded” tool belt who lacks the confidence, courage, ability, or DESIRE to climb a ladder.
Mastery of content may help a person get hired, or accepted to college, but it is content of character that ultimately determines who keeps their job and who will graduate from college.
While it certainly is important that a recently hired worker can read and understand the employee manual and quarterly reports that will be of little consequence if the person doesn’t possess the self-discipline and decision making skills to abide by the company’s email, texting, and computer use policies.
Focusing education programs on a narrow and rigorous set of measurable hard skills at the expense of vigorous social/emotional learning experiences that cultivate essential interpersonal and intrapersonal skills will leave our students ill equipped and unprepared for the real “tests” in life.
“Everyone has a different path, a different pace, and different challenges to face along the way.”
~ Doe Zantamata, “Measuring Up.”
It was in December when I first posted this blog. It was actually December 2015 when I posted any blog. Only 5 months but seems like an eternity! Several changes have taken place during this time……consolidation bills, ESA/I’m a voucher bill and the most painstaking of all “The BUDGET FAILURE, THE BUDGET FAILURE, THE BUDGET FAILURE! Count them one by one and they = 3! Sad really…didn’t have to happen….didn’t have to happen. So we cut, scratch, claw with everything we have to stay on top, to save as many jobs as we can and ultimately….teach the students and not let the life be sucked out of their education.
Agents we have stood strong, we have warded off many of Hydra’s attacks. You have fought and continue the fight as warriors. WE ARE NOT DONE!
Many of our Agents of Education are answering the call by running for office! IT IS TIME! SHOW NO MERCY! Hydra had their chance…..But they PUT WISDOM ON HOLD! We move full speed ahead! Remember we told them this would happen but they didn’t listen!
My original blog is below…….
Seven years ago all the new legislators didn’t want to admit that there were some in their ranks that had a greater goal in mind but we warned them of what was to come. With the onslaught of attacks of public education and the continued talk of consolidation of school districts (almost 30 bills since that time and another one coming) coupled with the continued efforts of one State Rep from the N. side of Okc to lower property taxes (funding source for Public Ed), I could see the writing on the wall. Along with several of our colleagues &educational organizations across the state we battled diligently to ward of many of the attacks on education. Unfortunately over time some tax cuts in smaller bites got through. Triggers were strategically tied to the economy (Oil) so that when a certain rise in revenue was reached BOOM the trigger was pulled. And behold a lower bar of taxes would soon go into place. Why……….because they wanted too. They ran on the platform to lower taxes no matter what the cost. The cost…..our Kids! They wouldn’t listen. With ears that refused to hear and a mind focused on selfish desires we now find ourselves in a mess much greater than they even anticipated. Yes they knew what they wanted to happen but the mess superseded their term limited stay and left them in an uncomfortable position.
I pleaded with both Repubs and Dems do not rely on oil. I have been there and done that. I had been through big booms and little booms and no matter they size they go BUST! They have too. It is the normal cycle. This one just happened to stay longer than most do. Here it is in a nut shell and this is what I told them. Eventually there will be a situation that occurs that drives the oil prices up. Jobs will be created and everyone will be happy and there will be money flowing from the heavens. It can’t stay that way forever, so eventually it starts dropping. Sometimes this happens quickly with no time to adjust and sometimes it happens slower giving us some time to prepare. I term it the enema effect. When oil is high it provides more opportunity for people to start up a business and capitalize on the oil market. After so long revenues become somewhat less and the market has to rest thereby dropping prices and the smaller business who have put on extra people and equipment must sell off and do other things. Nothing wrong with the free market that is how it works. The latter is what happened this time but with solid funding sources such as taxes cut because wanted to it is Not Smart Finance! They wouldn’t listen.
So what now? Now they will try (are) to cover it by saying the oil prices are to blame and those schools are abusing and sucking up all the money. You will hear this as well……We really have no choice. We don’t want to but we must for the sake of the school children. We are going to do everything we can to fix this…look into the camera and nod as if to say…we have your back kids. Then pat each other on the back as they walk out of camera view but don’t walk to fast. Make it a slow painstaking walk. Like the one you take when you are carrying a casket to its final resting place. Unfortunately the headstone reads…..Here lies public Ed…We tried to save her but we just couldn’t. The oil boom you see…………….. Rob had a blog on this yesterday (checklist from Schott McLeod) how methodical this game can be. Take a look. Claudia put together a brilliant piece that goes right along with this time of year. Okeducationtruths, BlueCereal and several other Agents of Ed all have related topics over this very thing. A wealth of knowledge and a courage to make any Agent ready themselves to take the fight the ones WHO DID NOT LISTEN!
There is HOPE. You who read this, those who continue the fight, blog, make calls, meet with in person, parents, teachers, EVERYONE, you are a member of the Rebel Alliance and are Agents of Education. You fight for our schools you fight for our kids. Assemble and be ready! We have the tools; we have done it before….REMEMBER? United as ONE! The future is in our hands!
End of transmition…..
POSTED ON MARCH 2, 2016 UPDATED ON MARCH 2, 2016
Dear past, present and future students,
I am writing to all of you. I believe you deserve a leader who fights for your rights, rather than takes them away. I believe you deserve to live in a country where you do not fear the deportation or discrimination of yourself and your family members due to circumstances beyond your control. I believe you should have the opportunity to succeed in whatever venture you choose. I believe you should have the right to live the life you choose because you are an American. I believe you deserve the absolute best education possible. I believe you deserve high-quality, educated and professional teachers who know how to accommodate your specific educational needs.
Dear students I love you all. I not only care deeply about your education, but your lives and believe you deserve the absolute best. You are Americans and are told you are living in the greatest country in the world. But you are living in a country that is consistently failing you. You are living in a country where leaders care more about wall street, big banks and the wealthy than your well-being.
You deserve more than a leader who is a bigot and discriminates against most of you due to factors beyond your control. You deserve to have a leader who will fight for you no matter your race, sex, ability, income or background. You deserve a leader who doesn’t publicly insult more than half of the world. You deserve a leader who demonstrates love, rather than hate.
Please know this election season you are on my mind. I vote for you. I vote for the future you will have. Dear students you matter, you are important and you are the future of this great country.
All my love,