The Little Legislature That Couldn’t

There was a little legislature with nice words and false praises
to Oklahoma’s teachers, I’ll bring you some raises.
While the OKC Chamber and Big Oil worked to kill 779,
the little legislature assured teachers, “you can trust me this time.”

“Choo choo, choo choo, choo choo, choo choo, I feel so good today
Oh, clear the track, oh clickety clack, I’ll go our merry way.”

The little legislature stumbled and bumbled its way to sine die,
it was clear from the start Senator Holt’s 10K plan was not going to fly.
The same fate was in store for Mike Roger’s 1-2-3
As least I’ll build a framework – believe me teachers – you’ll see.

Yet, by early April, indeed we did see
the promise of compromise was never to be.
There would be no new revenues to support teacher pay,
so the little legislature just gave up and now seemed to say.

“I can’t go on, I can’t go on, I’m weary as can be
I can’t go on, I can’t go on, this job is not for me.”

The little legislature started catching some flak,
when a great big engine called OIL came a whistling down the track.
They asked if they would pitch in few cents on the dollar,
but with a high and mighty sneer, OIL scornfully hollered,

“Don’t bother me, don’t bother me to pull the likes of you
Don’t bother me, don’t bother me, we have already paid our dues.”

The Dems all started crying cause that engine was so mean
so the Repubs came back with tax tricks and several new fees.
On cigarettes and new cars, $300 million will bring,
add Rainy day and one-time funds and we got this thing.

The little legislature hitched on to the plan and sang this song

“I think I can, I think I can, I think I have a plan
And I can do ‘most anything if I only think I can.”

But the teachers shouted out, what about our raises?
The little legislature replied, “how ungrateful,” you owe us your praises.
We held your schools harmless in our fragile house of cards,
quit being greedy and kindly give us your regards.

As the little legislature closed up and left town in a hurry,
Thousands of teachers yelled out with much fury
Little legislature, you told us you could, yet denied us again,
you protected your donors and left us to fend.

You are the little legislature who couldn’t,
We’re not surprised; many knew that you wouldn’t
For many Oklahoma’s schools, you’ve now sealed their fate
As hundreds of our best teachers soon leave the state.

The lack of respect and years of false hope,
Is more than many can continue to cope
They’re off to new jobs or switching careers
Spreading their wings and shedding their fears.

And very soon they’ll start to say, I always knew I could
I knew I should, I knew I could, I knew I would
I hate to move on after all the years I have fought
Sadly I must because of a little legislature that could yet would not.

And they’ll say,

“Choo choo, choo choo, choo choo, choo choo, I feel so good today
Oh, clear the track, oh clickety clack, I’ll go our merry way.”

The little legislature speeds from the station,
leaving our teachers’ pay dead last in the nation,
As our state moves forward, there is now no mistaking
The cliff we’re approaching is of our own making.

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