Candidates speak out for higher education

June 11, 2010 Feature Print Print
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As the race for the next Oklahoma governor ramps up, candidates are coming out strong on many issues, especially higher education.

Oklahoma’s gubernatorial candidates agreed over the past week that continuing to improve higher education in Oklahoma is important but disagreed on how this should be accomplished.

The way to make colleges more accessible is by controlling costs, said Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso.

Atty. Gen. Drew Edmondson said he strongly supports government grants such as Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program and scholarships as a way to increase access to the state colleges and universities.

U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin said as governor, her priority would be to support community colleges along with making college accessible to everyone.

Lt. Governor Jari Askins could not be reached for comment.

Her campaign manager, Sid Hudson, said Askins is supportive of the government helping out students.

Randy Brogdon Republican

What is your stance on higher education in Oklahoma?
“Higher education is important, but it does not drive the economy. The private sector drives the economy and college prepares people for the private sector.”

What are your professional views on Oklahoma grants?
“I believe higher education should be paid for by the person who is getting the education. When the consumer is in charge of paying, it encourages competition between colleges and the prices will fall.”

 

Drew Edmondson Democrat

What is your stance on higher education in Oklahoma?
“Higher education would be second, right behind getting the economy moving. Once the economy is moving, funds can be provided to education on all levels.”

What are your professional views on Oklahoma grants?
“OHLAP is a promise that must be upheld. Not everyone can afford to go to Stillwater or Norman to attend college. That’s where community colleges step in. They allow students to enhance their employability and increase the quality of their life.”

 

Mary Fallin Republican

What is your stance on higher education in Oklahoma?
“Many of the employers I’ve met (in Oklahoma) have highlighted the need for a skilled, educated workforce. It’s essential to support quality education in order to do this.”

What are your professional views on Oklahoma grants?
“I’m going to work to turn this economy around … to provide the proper amount of funds to the Endowed Chairs program. As governor, I will continue to support OHLAP Access Program and sustain these programs by getting the economy out of this rut.”

 

Jari Askins Democrat

What is your stance on higher education in Oklahoma?
“Askins understands that higher education is vital to the future of Oklahoma because it provides future workers and ideas vital to helping Oklahoma grow.”

What are your professional views on Oklahoma grants?
“Askins is 100 percent behind OHLAP and would very much like to restore the Endowed Chairs program to its original purpose.”

Questions answered by Sid Hudson, campaign manager.

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