Wagoner County American-Tribune
By: Staff Report
With teachers fleeing Oklahoma for better pay in neighboring states and more than 25 percent of public schools now on a four-day school week, Drew Edmondson has a plan to address the state’s funding crisis.
Edmondson, a candidate for governor, visited Wagoner June 1 as part of his Take Back Oklahoma tour.
“Our legislative leaders still have a chance to set Oklahoma back on solid financial footing to fund education, health care and services for veterans,” Edmondson said. “If they aren’t willing to stand up to their corporate donors and their cooperate lobbyists and do what’s right, I said in July 2017 that as governor, I’ll put a plan before the people and let them vote to secure these critical services and put Oklahoma back on track.”
He promised that his governorship will be a partnership with the people of this state to help build the plan for Oklahoma’s future.
“Our leaders have failed to stand up to corporate special interest lobbyists. Our friend and neighbors, and especially our children, are playing the price,” he said. “It’s time to elect a leader who supports the people’s priorities, including education, health care, services for veterans and government transparency. Those are priorities that will guide my leadership in the governor’s office.”
Edmondson has long been an advocate for public education and health care.
As attorney general, Edmondson led the effort to pass a constitutional amendment that created the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, which directed money received from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with big tobacco be spent specifically on public health.
The people also approved his plan to direct the Trust’s administrators to spend only the Trust’s earnings, insuring the fund would grow even as other states drained their settlement accounts. Today, the tobacco Trust has a balance of more than $1 billion.