Friday, December 16, 2011

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Obviously, ROPE is beyond ecstatic that Oklahoma was NOT granted a Race to the Top grant for Early Childhood Education. As opposed to Governor Fallin, I do not feel ANY disappointment that Oklahoma was not chosen for the grant.

In fact, I STILL can't even conceive of the fact that Oklahoma would go begging to the ABSOLUTELY BROKE (meaning 'in debt', 'no working capital', 'owned by China', etc.) federal government (who takes money from the pockets of Oklahomans and then makes us beg to get it back) for money to fund programs that should absolutely, unquestionably be funded by private organizations and churches.

Interestingly, though Dr. Barresi made large cuts to her budget earlier this year, she must have climbed aboard her Unicorn and trotted out onto the rainbow bridge. Apparently, from there she discovered a money tree that can be accessed at will by the State of Oklahoma, because she has now asked for 158 million more dollars to be added to the State Department of Education in her first ever budget.

Of course, some of this will go to fund the things she UN-funded from the previously-mentioned activities budget. Interesting. They weren't necessary in June, but after significant public outcry, they are in December?

It is interesting to note that Dr. Barresi had this to say on her campaign blog,
“We must restructure Oklahoma’s State Department of Education to ensure that dollars are getting into the classroom, rather than concentrating critical funds on administrative overhead. I intend to transform the State Department of Education from being primarily a regulatory agency into a service organization for parents and children. I’ll also move quickly to conduct a financial and performance audit of the department.”

Was the promised audit conducted?

If so, why weren't the results presented before the budget was prepared?

If an audit was not accomplished, why move forward with the budget?

Upon what data were the figures originated?

Why is the department now asking the state to fund specific functions that the Superintendent chose to do away with in the OSDE activities budget?

Was an RTT application made because Oklahoma didn’t have enough money to fund the desired programs or was it simply because the grant was seen as “free” money for which Oklahoma could find a use? Either way, can Oklahoman's believe that our current state administrators have any kind of a grip on Oklahoma's part in this country's entirely real and looming economic Armageddon? I don't and that truly concerns me.

In fact, there are way too many unanswered questions here that I see Oklahoma taxpayers having to eventually answer out of their pockets - and no one I know has a Unicorn.