Oklahoma public school teachers are about to walk out.
After West Virginia teachers went on strike for nine days and ended up getting a 5 percent
salary increase, Oklahoma teachers decided the time for change was now.
Oklahoma ranks 50th in the nation for teacher pay. Currently, about 62 school districts are in
support of suspending school. A recent poll conducted by NewsOK.com reported 88 percent of
Oklahomans support a teacher strike.
Alicia Priest, president of the Oklahoma Education Association, said if lawmakers do not come
up with an “acceptable” solution by April 1st, then Oklahoma schools will be forced to shut
“Our school communities are desperate for change because we know what’s at stake here: the
future of our students and this great state,” she said.
Priest says their goal is to force the legislature to pass a plan that provides teachers and
professionals a “significant” pay raise and restores critical funding to classrooms.
“They must work swiftly to follow the law and pass an education budget by April 1st,” she said.
If their solution doesn’t meet the demands of the pay raise, Priest says OEA will call for
statewide school closures beginning April 2nd.
Priest said the OEA is demanding the bill include a $6,000 pay raise this year, and $2,000 for
each of the next two years.
“We will be at the capitol until a solution has passed and has been signed by the governor. We
are all in this together and we have the same goal,” she said. “Together we can win this for our
students. Together, we are stronger.”
Yukon Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth said walkouts “aren’t easy” but
something needs to be done.