For One Mom, A Country Singer's Old Book Is A Sign That Schools Need More Funding

“Thank you to every teacher/parent/support staffer/etc. for fighting for my kids education!!!"

As the teacher walkout in Oklahoma is expected to continue next week, one mom took to Facebook to share what many are calling one of the many examples of the lack of resources given to educators in the state. When Shelly Bryan Parker's daughter Marley realized one of her textbooks this year appears to have been used by musician Blake Shelton, she was excited. Parker, however had a different reaction.


"Marley is EXCITED that her 'new' reader belonged to Blake Shelton, but I am EMBARRASSED!!!! I'm 40 and these people are my age!!!" the mom wrote on a Facebook post that has since been shared over 7,500 times. "Thank you to every teacher/parent/support staffer/etc. for fighting for my kid's education!!! Don't give up until education is FULLY FUNDED!!!!"

As Parker points out, it's not that her family doesn't support The Voice judge, but that the textbook her daughter is using was published in 1980 — almost 40 years ago. While the book is still in good condition, teaching methods and curriculums have both changed since the 1980s.  

"My daughter's teacher is an amazing educator, and I'm certain that if she had a way to obtain books that are not 40 years old, she would," Parker told CNN.

While some have argued that since the textbook is focused on reading, its age doesn't particularly matter, others pointed out that this is just a singular example of how Oklahoma's lack of education funding is affecting students. 

"Readers are timeless. I agree, but if this reader is that old what about the math and science books? What are Oklahoma kids missing by using outdated textbooks?" one commenter wrote.

Oklahoma teachers walked out April 2 in protest of low pay and continuous cuts to the state's education budget. Teachers in rural districts have reportedly returned to their classrooms, but the state's two largest districts in Tulsa and Oklahoma City are expected to remain closed next week

"I just want the state to come to a resolution that will fully support teachers and their classrooms," Parker said. "As a former educator, this is very important to me. But as a parent, this is crucial as I want the best education for my daughter."

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