By Judith David
Special to The Globe
GROVE, Okla. —
Two candidates oppose each other in the race for the state Senate seat in District 3 — Wayne Shaw and Jim Bynum.
Bynum calls himself an education advocate, having spent 15 years at the state Capitol.
Essentially this is true, but a few facts have been left out. Before these years at the Capitol, he was a UniServ director for the Oklahoma Education Association whose primary job was to help teachers negotiate salaries and working conditions. The 15 years at the state Capitol was spent as a paid lobbyist for the Oklahoma Education Association.
I’m a retired high school English teacher of 26 years and was a member of OEA the last 21 years I taught in Oklahoma. If Jim Bynum is so proud of his affiliation with OEA, he should have mentioned it, and not have spoken of it in such generic terms.
Wayne Shaw, of Grove, his opponent, is a conservative. I have heard teachers say that they are afraid that the conservatives in government will “gut” the education budget. I believe that Wayne Shaw will fight to cut the bureaucratic waste so that more money will go to teachers and students. He sees the importance of paying teachers a competitive salary for the region. Taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay to help educate future teachers in institutions of higher learning, only to lose them to surrounding states paying higher salaries. He believes that our part of the state needs an infusion of good jobs and opportunity. This will provide a broader tax base through which the schools can be properly funded.
Shaw taught in the public schools for a short time before being called to the ministry. He understands the challenges that educators face. He believes that local control of public schools is important. No one understands the needs of the local schools better than a member of that community.
As a senior minister in Grove, a resort/retirement community, Shaw is very aware of the unique needs of the elderly who live on a fixed income when the cost of living is skyrocketing out of control. He has viewed life from many perspectives, worked with all socioeconomic groups, and will not play partisan politics.