Metro teacher makes push for state house candidacy after being let go from OKCPS
Oklahoma City, Ok —
An Oklahoma City Public Schools teacher is speaking out after he was let go from U.S. Grant High School due to state budget cuts.
Now he's hoping to get elected to the state house to push for change.
As a 9th grade English teacher, Mickey Dollens is worried about his students.
"It's just more instability for them. I've created a relationship with a lot of my students, they now trust me, and I'm on my way out," said Dollens.
Running for the state house, Dollens is also worried about the future of Oklahoma.
"Our legislators' inability to handle state revenue is causing insurmountable hurt on the least among us," said Dollens.
On Friday Dollens got the news that after two years at U.S. Grant High School, he's one of the 208 teachers in Oklahoma City Public Schools not being asked back due to state budget cuts.
"It's just really sad and unbelievable that teachers across Oklahoma are losing their jobs entirely due to lack of funding," said Dollens.
Dollens says it's frustrating watching Oklahoma lawmakers pour money into all the wrong places.
"We need to stop locking people up and focus on crime prevention instead of mass incarceration., accept the federal Medicaid dollars, eliminate new and irresponsible tax cuts," said Dollens.
While schools are left high and dry.
"These cuts are going to lead to larger classroom sizes, they're going to lead to the cuts of extra-curricular activities," said Dollens.
Dollens says that's part of the reason why he's now running for Oklahoma State Representative for House District 93. He says he's seen firsthand the disastrous effects of our state's budget crisis, and it's time something changes for Oklahoma kids.
"Kids need options and opportunities and that's what teachers do. We're there to show them the way, and I think our elected officials should be no different. It's time our legislators start serving the people, especially the most vulnerable among us," said Dollens.
Dollens he encourages everyone to research your local elected officials to find out if they're voting for education, and to write them your concerns. He also urges everyone to vote in Oklahoma's state primary elections on June 28th.