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April 3, 2014

Dorman speaks to CVTC student ambassadors

CHICKASHA — State Rep. Joe Dorman (D-Rush Springs) spoke to the student ambassadors at the Canadian Valley Technology Center Chickasha campus about state budget and encouraged voting based on specific candidate views as part of his gubernatorial campaign yesterday.

Student Ambassadors Co-Adviser Erica Miller said Dorman was invited to speak to the group of high school juniors and seniors as part of their monthly meeting.

Dorman began his discussion of current issues facing the capital with the budget and how it affects education.

"We're facing a $188 million shortfall compared to last year's dollars," Dorman said. "We have to make cuts…[or] there's always the option of finding other revenue streams."

Dorman said career technology schools, like the Canadian Valley Technology Center, traditionally receive less funding than other educational institutions because they have less students enrolled.

He said despite this, the blended funding system of career centers, which include funds from tax revenue and tuition, helps with financial stability.

Dorman said the percentage of college education costs that the state pays has dropped by 40 percent since the '90s when Oklahoma University President David Boren went from being a U.S. senator to president of the university.

He said schools are also short $35 million for remediation programs for students.

"If we're falling short on [remediation funds], how can we expect them to take standardized tests?" he said.

Dorman said education issues were a big motivator for him to run for governor.

"I was going to run for county commissioner [in Rush Springs]…then May 20 happened with the tornado in Moore," he said. "I had a bill on [tornado safety] for schools and [it didn't get a hearing], so I looked at how many schools are protected for tornadoes and…100 schools are unprotected."

Dorman said he decided to run for governor because of dissatisfaction he'd heard with current tornado emergency plans in schools.

After discussing his motivations, he opened the floor to questions.

Student Ambassador Clancy Mitchell asked Dorman about his stance on gun control and said he was happy to find that Dorman shares his belief in gun ownership.

"He had the same views I do," Mitchell said. "I've always lived out in the country where [guns] are necessary for many things."

 Dorman ended the meeting by encouraging students to register to vote, but to do adequate research about each candidate's viewpoints before choosing a candidate.

"You need to ask the tough questions…don't go discriminating based on party affiliation," he said.

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