ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) Lt. Governor Todd Lamb says his focus is on reforming and restructuring the state's budget, diversifying the economy and funding education without a tax increase by requiring 65% of education funding to go directly into the classrooms.
"Right now the statewide average is less than 46%, think about that, less than 46% is the average that is being spent inside the classroom," Lamb said. "That's unacceptable."
Lamb, whose wife is a school teacher, says increasing the funding for education in part by cracking down on fraud, waste and mismanagement - that at savings would go towards teacher's salaries, new textbooks and updated technology.
"Again we are not spending near enough in the classroom right now, that's where our teachers are and our students are," Lamb said. "It's time we stand up for our teachers and our students."
Lamb says he supports teachers getting paid more but says there was a problem with the last package that passed.
"It wasn't a reform package, that's what the problem was with it. It was tax increases to pay for teacher pay raise. I supported teacher pay raise but not with tax increases, there's a better and wiser way to do that," Lamb said.
"I've sat down with countless teachers in my office talking about my proposal to get 65% of the education dollar inside the classroom," Lamb said. "We've got to have additional reform with education."
The legislature passed the legalization of “ball and dice' games something Lamb wasn't able to share his side on.
"Ball and dice is hard to speak to cause I wasn't in the room when it was negotiated (and) decided on," Lamb said. "I have a different proposal, different ideas and I've shared some of those tonight."
And with the filing period closing last week, Lamb will be running against nine Republicans.
Three Libertarians and two Democrats are also running.