#SQ779 Count Down

State Question 779 failed to pass on November 8.  I took the failure of this State Question hard.  I had to do something.  As President Boren said so aptly on November 8.


We cannot secure our future by ignorance.David L. Boren


For those of you not in Oklahoma, the past eight years have been tough for education funding in Oklahoma.  We rank 48th in K12 Teacher pay and will likely be 50th when the rankings come out next year.  While States like North Dakota and Mississippi raise teacher pay, Oklahoma legislature does nothing.


In all fairness to the groups opposed to #SQ779, the 1 cent sales tax would not have only gone to Common Ed and teacher salaries.  69.5% of the sales tax revenue would have gone to teachers and schools.  The remainder would have gone to early childhood, career training and college affordability.  Early Childhood Investments have shown to be one of the best returns on a dollar invested, $8.60 for $1 spent.  Career Training is essential in a State reeling from the collapse of energy prices.  College Affordability in Oklahoma has become an ever increasing concern.  Although State funding for Higher Education was up last year on average by %4.1, Oklahoma had the third highest decrease in funding over the past five years with -10.6%.


So, 59% of the people voting in Oklahoma, voted against supporting education with 1 penny.  And those that support education in Oklahoma said they would continue to support education.




Quickly, the opposition and some State Legislature were quick to say they would pass a legislation to give teachers a pay raise in the next session.


“It is now critical that we move forward to create a comprehensive plan that will ensure that our schools, teachers and our children receive the state funding they deserve while also protecting and diversifying the funding stream for other levels of government”Bill Shewey, Chairman of Oklahoma Deserves Better Campaign



NOTE: Senator Holt tired this in 2016.


Quickly, there was a call to hold those opposing #SQ779 and the legislature accountable.



I was happy to see Pass a Plan this weekend with a counter to indicate the days until the Legislature can pass a plan.  You can also follow them at @PassaPlan.


Awesome!  But what could I do to raise awareness, to keep Oklahoma Legislature accountable for a plan to pay our teachers better?


A little help from my friends


I sent out this tweet out the night after the election:


Wait, if I am going to send out a tweet everyday to remind the Oklahoma Legislature to do their job, then it might be good to automate this process.


Then I remembered this piece of joy that shows up on my twitter feed.


It makes me smile.  It is also a piece of creativity from the AltLab genius tinkerer Tom Woodward.  Who I finally met at #OpenEd16 and learned he looks nothing like his twitter avatar.


I sent a quick message to Tom to ask if I could automate my message with a counter for the days since the promises to passage of a plan.  He quickly shot back a “for sure’ and got me started.  With the Google script/ss Tom reworked and the Twitter API learned from Kin Lane and Ben Werdmuller, I was able to get the #SQ779 Countdown automated.


Oh, I will turn it off when the teachers in Oklahoma get at least as large a raise as #SQ779 would have achieved.


Until then, it is there just to remind the Oklahoma Legislature that they have a job to do.  Our Teachers and Students deserve better.  Make it Happen!


The #OpenEdTech and #IndieEdTech communities are awesome.  Always ready to teach a NORML how to fork one of their tools to make something amazing.  Here are some of Tom’s post on his tools and tricks.


YouTube View Count to Tweet

Server Up? Notifications via Twitter/Google Script

Shifting out of IFTTT

Scraping Instagram with Google Script


Feature Image by Tom Woodward – Robot Video

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