A few years back, the online publication the Onion published a hilarious satire based on the ridiculous premise that the Federal government accidentally provided adequate funding for our nation’s schools. Ha! Like that would ever happen.

With the Oklahoma legislature and Governor’s office just weeks away from finalizing the state budget for the 2016 fiscal year, I decided to take some artistic license with the Onion’s version to fit our current financial situation. I hope you enjoy!

May 29, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY—According to bewildered and contrite legislators, a major budgetary mix-up this week inadvertently provided the state’s public schools with enough funding and resources to properly educate Oklahoma’s children.

A spokesperson for Senator Brian Bingman’s office reported that as a result of a clerical error, $400 million earmarked for state testing vendors, turnpike repaving, tax breaks for the oil and gas industry, and future income tax cuts for Oklahoma’s millionaires was accidentally appropriated to the Department of Education for the upcoming fiscal year’s education funding formula.

According to a source from Governor Fallin’s office, speaking under condition of anonymity, “this money will likely be wasted by schools to increase teacher salaries, reduce class sizes, buy new textbooks, increase technology integration, offer more academic courses, and promote educational excellence”—an oversight that apologetic officials called a “major SNAFU.”

“Obviously, we did not intend for this to happen, and we are doing everything in our power to correct the situation and discipline whoever is responsible,” said House Budget and Appropriations chairman Scott Martin (R-District 46), expressing remorse for the error. “I want to apologize to the people of Oklahoma. The last thing we wanted was for schools to upgrade their technology and lower student-to-teacher ratios in hopes of raising a generation of well-educated, ambitious, and skilled young Oklahomans.”

“That’s the type of irresponsible misspending that I’ve been focused on eliminating for my entire political career,” Martin added.

House Speaker Jeffrey Hickman (R-District 58) told reporters from the Daily Oklahoman that the $400 million budget slip-up will “unfortunately” help schools statewide to retain more qualified teachers as well as supply students with modernized classrooms and instructional materials. Struggling to control his frustration, Hickman said he prayed the costly mistake would not allow thousands of Oklahoma’s students to graduate with strong technology and higher order thinking skills.

House Floor Leader Jason Nelson (R-OKC) called for a full investigation into how the state’s schools were able to secure the necessary funds to adequately compensate teachers at the regional average.

“This careless mistake may result in fewer teachers retiring or leaving the state. It will have a highly deleterious effect on the growth of our state’s promising charter and virtual school movement just when we’re making real progress. It may also end up financing new teacher training programs and collaboration time, allowing educators to become more than just glorified babysitters. It is just outrageous!” Nelson said. “Now we are left with a situation where schools can attract talented professionals who really want to teach our children, which will in turn create smarter and more motivated students who wish to one day make a contribution to society.”

“In all my years in government I have never seen such a shameful error,” Governor Fallin stated during an impromptu press conference on Thursday.

When an aide reminded the Governor of her absurd veto of House Bill 2625 (RSA) last year and her resolute support of the previous state superintendent, Fallin clarified, “Okay, it’s at least in the top ten!

“Our appropriations process has gone horribly awry and I for one demand to know how it happened. I thought I was signing an additional tax cut for Oklahoma’s beleaguered upper class,” explained Fallin.

Senate Appropriations Chair, Clark Jolley, echoed his fellow legislative leaders and vowed to do “everything in his power” to resolve the costly error that could lead to schools updating their curriculums to emphasize STEM initiatives and 21st century skills by providing students with instruction on how to use newly purchased computers and connect with the world outside of Oklahoma.

“Once these kids learn to read and think critically, you can never undo that,” Jolley said. “In 20 years, we could be looking at a nightmare scenario in which vast segments of our populace are fully prepared to compete in the new global marketplace.”

“It could take a whole generation to cancel out the effects of this error,” Jolley added.

Congressional leaders also stressed that providing the state’s students with an adequate education that prepared them for college and 21st century jobs could also have a devastating impact on the economy by creating a new class of citizens uninterested in settling for fast food meals and working at Wal-Mart.

“And politicians will be adversely affected as well,” Jolley said. “What will our state do if the next generation knows that all we care about is our own selfish interests and pandering to the wealthy elite? Is that the future you want? Not me.”