OEA Calls for End to Teacher Walkout

Adjust Comment Print

Although the walkout is over, some Oklahoma teachers have been inspired and have taken it upon themselves to run for state House and Senate seats.

In the absence of school, many schools and community programs have offered breakfast and lunch for students.

The resumption of classes also takes thousands of local education support employees out of financial limbo. None of the gaming revenue is available to appropriate for the upcoming school year.

"If what you're doing isn't getting the results you seek, there is wisdom in shifting focus", Priest said.

"Our protesting has made other people interested in the democracy of our state, wanting to be more involved, maybe wanting to help the educational process out". "It's hard to negotiate with 40,000 people, and so we have not gotten clear direction from the teachers or the organizations that represent them of who actually makes the final decision".

Many local districts returning Monday and the second-largest district in the state Tulsa Public Schools resuming Tuesday. In Oklahoma, union membership is optional for teachers.

They are going to the homes of each of their students to check on them and bring back anything that THE STUDENT might need...

Many said despite the countless hours of chanting and speaking with lawmakers, they're exhausted of their voices not being heard.

"We do not want to be here, but I feel like we've walked backwards in nine days". "Some of them haven't shown up at all or they hide".

Trebor Worthen, a former House member and now a GOP campaign consultant, said the political winds have clearly shifted since 2016 and many incumbents are feeling the pressure.

Treat said that the state's largest teacher's union was continually moving their end goals. The union is now asking for $25 million more.

The hundreds of Oklahoma teachers that gathered to rally, may have also used that time to decide they want to add another task into their lives.

The state's education system has endured inflation-adjusted general funding per student drop by about 28 percent over the last 10 years. The regional average was $48,450. "Is there something greater to fight for than our kids?" said the science teacher and cross country and track coach who has 24 years of experience.

The measure is funded by a tax package that includes increases to the gross production tax charged to oil and gas drillers, the state's gasoline and the diesel taxes and cigarettes.

The group said it will now turn its attention to November elections. And it's unlikely to sway much opinion when even Ray Charles could see that funding of Oklahoma schools has been neglected for far too long.

In a statement, Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs President Jonathan Small said he's "glad" educators received a pay increase.

Amanda Jeffers, a Democrat and a high school English teacher in Oklahoma, said she was spurred by the teacher movement to run against a Republican incumbent, even though she acknowledges an uphill battle in a district with a 2-to-1 GOP registration advantage.