OK Gov. Race 2018: Kevin Stitt (R)
Information from: https://www.stittforgovernor.com/
REFORMING OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM
Oklahoma leads the nation in cuts to education funding. Our teachers are underpaid and leaving the state in droves. Too much money fails to reach the classrooms and some school districts have resorted to four-day school weeks. Our leaders are failing our students, our families, and jeopardizing our future. Enough is enough. I will prioritize students and funding for the classroom and invest in the teachers that make a difference every day. It’s time to restore respect to teachers!
Raise teacher pay so that it matches the pay of teachers in our six-state footprint. With 95 percent of Oklahoma children attending public schools, we must ensure those on the front lines of teaching our children receive the support they need to succeed.
Review ways to empower local communities to best fund the needs of their local schools. I love what we are seeing in Western Oklahoma where energy development is taking schools off the state funding formula and allowing for higher teacher pay. But we still have many counties without these commodities. I like the policy proposed by a conservative group of House legislators to give schools the flexibility to use part of their current property tax revenue on teacher pay instead of being restricted to buildings and infrastructure.
Expand the use of video technology to deliver AP classes across our state, especially in rural areas where we have bright, hardworking youth but not enough certified teachers. Our farmers and ranchers should not be faced with putting their children on a bus for more than an hour just to access quality education opportunities. Technology must play a stronger role in how we look to the future of delivering our state’s basic, vital public services.
Recruit, train and retain great teachers. In a Stitt administration, I will call for the Legislature to create a temporary program to provide $5,000 bonuses to certified teachers who are teaching in Oklahoma for the first time. This will help to incentivize the 400 students graduating from our Oklahoma universities with education degrees to stay and boost our state’s recruitment efforts. A recent survey shows Oklahoma has 536 vacant teaching positions for the next school year. We have gone from 32 emergency certifications six years ago to nearly 2,000 today. I’m ready to help lead the state in reversing the trend.
FOSTERING A HEALTHY OKLAHOMA
State Medicaid spending is out of control. Since 2003, our Medicaid spending ballooned 194% from $714 million to $2.1 billion. No other area of the state budget grew as quickly forcing hospitals to cut core services. I will fight to provide options to our families with quality healthcare while protecting our most vulnerable. For those that fall on hard times, Medicaid must be a trampoline, not a hammock. I will put a stop to the fraud, waste and abuse to ensure the health and future of Oklahomans.
Audit Medicaid. Both Republican and Democrat states are doing this. The Pew Charitable Trusts reports that Oklahoma had the 11th largest increase in state Medicaid spending as a share of the total state budget over the last decade.
Address the $30 million mess at the Department of Health and get the agency on track to being a Top Ten performing agency for the state. Establish performance metrics and hold the agency leaders accountable.
Sell health insurance across state lines to stimulate competition and reduce premiums. The Legislature passed a bill in 2017 authorizing the selling of insurance across state lines, but there are many obstacles to its implementation. I will work with the new insurance commissioner to negotiate compacts with other states to bring about this much-needed competition.
Bring more telemedicine to rural Oklahoma.
I have a plan for starting Oklahoma’s turnaround, and it starts with transparency and accountability to Oklahoma taxpayers. Check out my plan to learn more today, and let me know what you think! https://t.co/c8huLZvfuY #okgov pic.twitter.com/yVEy4hVXqO
— Kevin Stitt (@StittforGov) September 21, 2018