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Posted: Mar 13, 2018 10:03 AMUpdated: Mar 13, 2018 3:11 PM

Earl Sears Responds to Bartlesville Board

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Charlie Taraboletti
Representative Earl Sears is responding to a challenge issued Monday night to state legislators.   Bartlesville Schools Director of Technology, Granger Meador asked legislators what education funding plans they could support which could achieve the constitutionally-required 75 percent yes vote threshold.
Sears says he appreciates the Bartlesville Board of Education developing a plan for the legislature to consider. He says elected officials must address the critical budget issue for teachers and state programs our citizens utilize. 
According to Sears, the Bartlesville The Time Is Now Plan has many components that had been before this Session. He outlined the plan he could support.  It includes a 4 percent Gross Production tax, a one dollar a pack increase in the cigarette tax, increasing the gasoline to 3 cents and 6 cents on diesel, allowing ball and dice gaming, a Gross Production Tax on wind, and reforming the Income tax.  You can read his response.
Sears says the plan generates around 550 million dollars.  He says the funds we could fund a 5-thousand dollar teacher pay raise, a one-thousand dollar hike for school support employees, a one-thousand dollar state employees raise, and the funds to cover the hole at the teaching hospitals.  Sears says it could also provide  funds to assist in identified state programs we need to address.
Sears goes on to say whatever plan the legislature approves it must be now, not the future. He says the time is now to invest in Oklahoma.
The school board asked Sears, State Representative Travis Dunlap, State Senator Julie Daniels and the rest of the legislature to respond to its request to state what funding solution which would meet the state's funding needs keep and recuit quality teachers and school staff and to pay state employees.  The board asked for an answer by Friday.

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