Jacob Rosecrants

Jacob Rosecrants

We need recurring revenue now, not just for the state, but for both Norman and Noble, for our schools, and for our universities.

We cannot move from survival to progress without being able to keep our best and brightest here in Oklahoma and without providing a state in which people want to live and invest. I believe the Step Up Oklahoma plan is our chance to do this. Is it perfect? No, but what compromise in history was ever perfect?

The Step Up Oklahoma plan allows for a $5,000 teacher pay raise. As a former teacher, I lived the life of perpetual struggle that we all read about in the news today. Benefits are lacking, pay is lowest in the country, respect is eroding; indeed, I know the issues well, because I lived them. 

I can tell you that a pay raise is only one step in helping strengthen our schools, but it is a needed step.

The Step Up Oklahoma plan calls for a variety of revenue-raising measures, including a 4 percent Gross Production Tax on all oil wells. This is a step in the right direction. Remember, positive change can take time.

There are many things this plan doesn’t do. It doesn’t provide raises for other groups — most notably state employees — nor does it dig us all the way out of our budget woes. It includes policy changes that will be difficult to agree upon, many of which I don’t fully support. Although this plan isn’t a cure-all for our starved state, I do believe it is a step in the right direction.

Lastly, and most importantly, I’ve been elected by my constituents to help fund our schools, provide a pay raise for our teachers and to represent their wishes, which is to help Norman and Noble to be the best they can be. Because of this, and because we simply cannot ignore that our state can’t cut its way to prosperity any longer, I support the Step Up Oklahoma plan.

State Rep. Jacob Rosecrants is available at the Capitol by calling 557-7329 or emailing jacob.rosecrants@okhouse.gov.

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Caleb Slinkard was hired as the editor of the Norman Transcript in August of 2015. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University-Commerce and previously was in charge of several newspapers in northeast Texas.