TULSA - Some Tulsa parents are taking an "out of the box" approach to decide who they'll elect in 28 days.
The group "49th Is Not Okay" held a candidate forum Tuesday night to ask candidates how they plan to increase public school funding since Oklahoma is 49th in the nation.
Twelve State Senate and House of Representatives candidates showed up to the forum.
Arthrell said, if elected, he would fight for teachers and work to improve their pay.
"Forty-ninth is absolutely not OK with me. I want to be in the top 10," he said. "Teachers are stolen away every year from Oklahoma. They go to Texas and other places where the wages are higher."
Henke, a former pre-kindergarten and special needs teacher, said her experience has shown her that some tax credits and state agencies need comprehensive reform.
"I'm not only a candidate but I'm a teacher. I've spent the last seven years in the classroom and I can speak first hand to the issues," Henke said. "We need to be looking at ineffective tax credits, to be looking at agencies that aren't working for us."
Marlow Perkins Sipes, who organized group and Tuesday's forum, said classrooms have suffered since Oklahoma schools started experiencing heavy budget cuts in 2009.
"It's hard to manage a classroom when you have 35 to 40 kids to one teacher in it," Sipes said.
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