I'm a proud first-generation Mexican-American whose parents came to the United States seeking a better life. Their story of bravery to come here inspires me to do all I can to honor the sacrifices they made to ensure I'm able to live an extraordinary life.
I was the first person in my family to graduate from high school, and I want my two sons to go even further and become the first in our family to graduate from college. For that to be accomplished, they must attend great public schools that have the resources to keep and support strong teachers and provide vital programs and resources that ensure students have the tools to succeed.
But after nearly a decade of cuts to Oklahoma schools, I worry how that affects my children and all of Oklahoma’s students. Our state is last in the country for teacher pay, which is why we have such a dire teacher shortage, and the budget hole means we’re nearly last in spending per student.
Think about that: our state’s leaders have made a deliberate choice to invest less in Oklahoma’s children than every other state in the union.
Our children deserve so much better. Oklahoma cannot afford to continue on this path, because if we don’t invest in our children then our state’s future prosperity is at stake. My parents didn’t make the treacherous trek here so that their grandchildren would be left behind by the state.
It’s long past time that our legislators pass a plan to dedicate revenue to education. They’ve made so many cuts that it will be hard to bandage, but it’s not too late. I’m going to fight every day to make sure my children and others get a quality education. And you can, too.