Education was hit very badly in the recent Oklahoma budget which included $153 million in cuts to higher education. There is some speculation over whether the severity of the cuts were a response by the Legislature to the sales tax plan which is to be voted on in the November ballot. There is also concern that an attitude prevails that universities can just raise their tuition fees to overcome any budget deficits.

There is a lot of the ‘‘if” factor at play here: if the sale tax plan passes in November, if universities feel it is a viable option to raise tuition fees. But the most discerning comments come from Representative Scott Martin who reports an opinion among some “people” who do not see the value of higher education and that would in itself be a good reason to apply cuts to funding rather than other areas of the budget.

This is very unsettling to know legislators are playing down the importance of a university education in the 21st century. Is this reasoning really just another example of the agenda here to keep people in the dark so they won’t learn to think? After all, thinking is a huge threat to a conservative government that would prefer people to go about their lives and not question the way the state is being governed. Or maybe its just that they don’t see the value of higher education. Make your own decision …


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