Published: Fri, April 13, 2018
Medicine | By Douglas Stevenson

Oklahoma teachers union calls off almost two-week walkout

Oklahoma teachers union calls off almost two-week walkout

Others said they were unsure how much longer schools would wait out lawmakers, especially as state testing is underway. Now, Oklahoma's teacher pay moves up from the lowest, in average teacher pay, to second in the seven-state region and up to 29th from 49th nationally.

"I want to thank the more than 100 Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers who worked long hours at the state Capitol to keep teachers, visitors and state employees safe".

The Oklahoma Education Association announced this afternoon it is ending the walkout portion of its protest for additional education funding.

So far today, the OEA has declined interviews with the media but recently announced union leaders will hold a press conference at 4 p.m. It's calling on teachers to go back to the classroom.

"The Legislature still hasn't done their job, and some of those guys, they're already gone for the weekend", said Dina Kincaid a Norman North High School Latin teacher. "They've been out for two weeks, and it's time for them to get back to school", Fallin said in a statement.

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. "It seems like we should stay after the (candidate) filing period because if more of these legislators who have run unopposed become contested, that's a huge amount of leverage". "But we know that we have started a movement that will continue past the end (of the walkout), whenever that is". "Student learning at schools affected by the strike has been halted for almost two weeks at a critical time in the academic year when federal and state testing requirements need to be completed".

Dickson chose to shut down for the week now that state testing is finished and have confirmed they will remain closed Friday despite the walkout said to end.

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

According to the Oklahoma State School Board Association, superintendents are trying to balance a line between advocating for schools and delivering an education to students. They also increased pay for support staff and public employees and agreed to increase classroom spending by about $50 million. The union is now asking for $25 million more.

While numerous teacher candidates were Democrats, some Republican educators also threw their hat in the ring against GOP incumbents they felt weren't supportive enough of public schools.

"That doesn't help our 564 people", he said.

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