My name is Jayden Mills. I am currently a junior in the Chickasha Public Schools district. I have attended Chickasha Public Schools since Pre-K. Everything I am and everything I’ve been and everything I stand for and everything I do can be linked back to some part of my roots at Chickasha Public Schools. I walk the halls of my school each and every day with a smile on my face. My mantra- “Positive thoughts yield positive results.”
Each and every day, I see the results of underfunded public schools. I see teachers who purchase their supplies for their own classrooms. I see teachers who have put money into their college education so that they can now put money into my high school education. I see students who take core classes online because we simply do not have enough teachers to teach the classes necessary. (I’m one of them and with a 4.0 GPA, I’m still struggling and yearning for the interaction that exists within a traditional classroom) I see teachers who struggle to do their job because there are thirty-five students in their too-small classroom. I see students who struggle to experience real, deep, genuine learning because there are thirty-five students in their too-small classroom. I see the stress in the teachers, administrators, faculty, and yes, students each time we see a cut to education in our state budget. I see the loss of desktop printers in my teachers’ classrooms (The inconvenience in that ought to be obvious), the loss of funds in my choir department, the loss of funds in my peers’ theater and band departments, and the loss of legitimate education during the entire month of April each year because of the obstacle that is End Of Instruction tests.
I have read HB 2949 and SB 609. I have studied material- from both sides- regarding Education Savings Accounts and I am obligated by everything mentioned in the second paragraph to ask you to please not further the damage done to my public school and public schools all across the state of Oklahoma by voting yes to vouchers. Vouchers will divert more funds from my school, from our schools. We cannot take another cut in funds. We cannot lose another teacher to a better paying state. We cannot see another teacher empty his wallet into his classroom. We cannot have another student taking Trigonometry on the Internet. We cannot add another student into my 6th hour class. We cannot see another student drop out because he can’t be successful with the current teacher to student ratio. We cannot lose another luxury like Expo markers. We cannot lose another fine arts class. We cannot lose another day of hands-on, deep-thinking classroom interaction because we have to take tests that don’t reflect who we are as students, as Oklahomans, and as people.
We cannot afford to give money that we don’t have to privately owned education models that revolve only around money, and not Oklahoma’s students. We cannot afford to give money that we don’t have to schools that are not held accountable by the same standards to which our public schools are. Our future cannot afford it.
Choking someone out and then claiming that they are no longer successful because of their inability to breathe is wrong. Listen to my teachers- they see my friends and me every day. They cry for me, laugh with me, joke with me, they are proud of me, and they love me. And the same goes for them with my peers. Let them be a voice for us.
Please support our public schools. Please support my public school. Positive actions yield positive results.
Please vote no on HB 2949 and SB 609. Our future cannot afford it.
Chickasha Public School Junior