Statement by Senator Stratton Taylor, Senate President Pro Tempore
"The fact that Governor Keating has resorted to dragging the tax increase bogeyman out of the closet tells me that we've struck a nerve and demonstrated once again that he is no friend of public education."
"The Governor is obviously upset that we've exposed his smoke and mirrors pay program for what it is -a cheap attempt to pander to teachers without actually giving them a dime of new money. He's trying to pull the wool over teachers' eyes and he's just mad because we're calling him on it."
"The legislative leadership will come forward with a significant pay program for Oklahoma teachers this year, and unlike the Governor's funny money plan, it will actually contain real dollars."
"If the Governor really wants to try out his plan to cut cafeteria workers, bus drivers, counselors, janitors and security officers, I'm sure he won't have any trouble finding Republican lawmakers who will volunteer their school districts for a pilot project. I'd be happy to help him implement such a plan, but we tried the same thing last year and no Republican legislators expressed any interest."
"I'm certainly interested in seeing where the Governor would like to make his cuts. Last month, he was talking about increasing class sizes, cutting school lunches and firing teachers to raise money for a pay hike."
"Since the Governor has no personal experience with the public schools, I would be happy to give him a tour of the schools in northeastern Oklahoma or any other part of the state so he can show us exactly what he would like to cut. I think it would be good for Governor Keating to actually see the inside of a public school."
"Yesterday, the Governor was saying administration accounted for 40 percent of the school budget. Today, he says it's just 4 percent. Governor Keating needs to get his facts straight, tell the truth about public education for a change and stop trying to mislead Oklahomans."
"It's time for Governor Keating to put his money where his mouth is and support a real teacher pay raise, not a phony one."