EDMOND, Okla. – On Monday, about 30,000 education supporters rallied at the Oklahoma State Capitol and asked for more financial support from the state.
Poor teacher pay, poor student performance and lack of financial support has pushed Oklahoma schools to become 49th in the nation.
Emilee Delk said, “Even with the struggles we’re going through now with the government and the funding, I think we can still ban together and do what we need to do for the children.”
Delk is an aspiring teacher and although she’s struggling with college debt and student loans, she said she wants to help kids succeed.
She said, “You see little Bobby and he can’t write his name and he gets it and his face lights up. That’s what makes your heart happy, it’s not the paycheck.”
Jason Brown, with Norman Public Schools, said, “You’ve got hungry students and hungry districts, I guess that makes a good combination.”
Brown made it to both the education rally in Oklahoma City and the teacher job fair in Edmond.
He said, “You have a lot of individuals out there looking at jobs and I’m afraid we’re going to lose some of those students to other states like Texas because they’re able to pay more. They’re able to hire quicker because we’re worried about funding.”
Some districts, like Enid Public Schools, are offering signing bonuses, money that catches the eye of job seekers.
Matt Nicolin said, “Being a first year teacher, it’s definitely going to help, especially with buying supplies for your school.”
For Delk, she hopes fighting for education will bring change to our state.
She said, “If we stay here, Oklahoma will eventually be at the top of the list.”
More than 50 school districts had booths at the teacher job fair in Edmond.
Students had the chance to hand in their resumes and set up interviews with potential employers.