WE were watching this week as thousands of teachers and supporters rallied at the state capitol building in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Education Association, the state’s largest teacher union, was asking for $10,000 raises over three years, $5,000 raises for bus drivers, custodians and other staff, and restoration of tens of millions of dollars in education funding trimmed over the past few years. Oklahoma’s teachers are the third lowest in pay in the United States.
Their rally brought attention not only to those of us in Texas, but the entire United States. I, for one, have three Oklahoma educators in the family: Kyle, Kory and Kaylee Kuykendall.
“We are making progress,” said Kaylee, who is an elementary teacher in Putnam City. “Oklahoma legislature passed a bill last week to give teachers a raise, support staff in a tiny raise and some minimal funding for classrooms. The next day, they repealed $50 million revenue which would have been classroom funding. We are walking for our kids and support staff to find funding for them. Also, the plan in place is only a one-year designated revenue for teachers. After year one, the money is set to go to other places such as the Department of Corrections. Last night, (Wednesday night) they passed an Amazon tax bill for $20 million which would help supplement the $50 million they cut. We are still hoping for another bill to pass for $20 million dollars and a wind tax for close to $50 million.
Kaylee continued by saying, “Teachers have been spending time talking to legislators to get their take, plea their cause, thank the ones who have been supportive and pray with them. The momentum is on fire and is still going. I think we are hopeful for continued progress.”
“Friday will prove to be another important day, too. The capitol building was filling up with people beginning at 6 a.m. Then Monday, the Senate will hear the bills discussed throughout the week.”
The eyes of Texas are upon you; we’re only saying “you’re doing fine Oklahoma, Oklahoma OK.”
SHE WAS REFERRED to as becoming a Gypsy lady, wandering all over the country-side, but Sheroa Hennigan will laughingly let you know she is a jet-setter taking trips of a lifetime on a planned monthly schedule this year. Trips to Nashville, Tenn., and West Virginia have been part of her
“skipping out of town,” and one of the latest adventures was a cruise which left friends turning green with envy.
Sheroa and her daughter Stephanie recently spent seven luxurious days aboard the Carnival Breeze heading to the Bahamas and a place she had always wanted to see.
“The weather was warm, the water was beautiful and the food was great,” said Sheroa. “We also went to Atlantis and saw lots of stingrays. Hundreds of pictures were taken! You need to see them.”
“Oh, yes, we will be going again, but not until we do some other things first,” she said.
MART LAPIN’s eyes were opened last week when he was perusing the internet and came across a website called Mount Tabor Indian community. The article stated that it is a recognized Indian tribe (by Texas only) and it is located in Kilgore. Foster Bean and Billy Bob Crim were prominently mentioned in the article according to Mart and he, being a former Kilgoreite, couldn’t believe he didn’t already know about Mount Tabor and the tribe.
Actually, the area that most are inquisitive of regarding Mount Tabor is located east of Kilgore slightly off U.S. Highway 31 towards Tyler where a cemetery had been almost desecrated. Tribal families have in the past years tried to get it historically marked.
THE LONDON MUSEUM in New London will be displaying ostrich collectibles owned by Kay, daughter of acting manager Jean Davidson. The figurines depict the bird in all kinds of moods and temperaments.
“I have been fascinated with ostriches ever since I was a teenager and saw them at Caldwell Zoo in Tyler,” said Kay.
Adding a fun twist to the museum, the large display will be there throughout the month of April.
IN a text received from Frank Kuykendall of Lindsay, Okla., regarding Easter he writes: “Oh, the memories of the lost art of egg decorating at the kitchen table … kids now days are lucky if they get a plastic egg with jelly beans inside. The mere thought of biting the head off a chocolate rabbit will dance in my head all day waiting on them to go on sale the day after.” A little laughter goes a long way with our family, hope it does yours, too.
May His Love and Laughter fill your hearts and your homes throughout the week. In the meantime, we may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 903-984-2593.