I believe that an excellent public education system directly fuels economic growth, creating new businesses and well paying jobs. Done right, they work hand in hand. We need to be first class in both.
My wife Jennifer and I come from families of school teachers, administrators, and a superintendent, all of whom were educated in public school systems and public universities. She’s a public school speech-language therapist, and I volunteer for our school long range planning committee and coach our son’s youth soccer team. Our daughter and son both attend public schools. We see the book shortages, participate in the PTA fundraisers, buy and donate basic supplies to keep our schools running. So when it comes to the recent standoff between public school supporters and the state legislature, we get it.
I am also an engineering graduate from the University of Oklahoma. I’ve helped build, manage, and grow technology companies from mobile app startups to Internet services and computer makers. All of these companies have one big need in common: A well educated work force.
I’m tired of our state government settling for “ok” instead of aiming high. I’m sick of being told we can’t compete with Silicon Valley or Austin for bold initiatives like attracting Amazon’s second headquarters. We need leaders who understand that public education enables economic growth. The two are inseparable!
I want to see our state government operated wisely, using best practices from private industry to measure and report on the performance of every program. If an agency or incentive or tax credit are not a net gain for the People of Oklahoma, we shouldn’t continue it. We need to restore faith in our legislature and agencies, and I believe annual performance audits and rational budget practices can help us do so.
I’m a Republican, but I believe we can do better than the party-line politics we have experienced lately at the Capitol. Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, donkey or elephant, red or blue…if you’re tired of hearing “that’s just the way it is”, please join me. And if you believe that our state needs new ideas and better leadership at the Capitol, then I’m asking for your vote.
Our current legislature has not attacked our state’s problems with both public education and economic innovation. I will.