OKLAHOMA CITY – As the teacher walkout enters its eighth day, educators across the state say the walkout is serving an important purpose.
Although a couple of revenue raising measures have been signed into law, the Oklahoma Education Association says more needs to be done before the walkout can end.
“We are about 90 percent of the way to our year-one ask for education and, so, we’re close,” said Oklahoma Education Association president Alicia Priest. “We need the legislature to give a little bit more.”
However, not all Oklahoma teachers are supporting the plan to continue with the walkout.
Dr. James Taylor, an Oklahoma City middle school teacher, says he is not in support of the walkout.
“I know I’m going to be a pariah for speaking out, but so what? Life goes on. We are not going to get more than what’s already there. The legislators can wait the teachers out more than the teacher. At some point, it’s going to impact our salaries,” Taylor told KJRH.
In fact, Taylor says he is at the Capitol for a completely different reason.
“I’m just here to encourage the representatives because they’re being bombarded,” he said. “Teachers are not the only state employees that want raises and want funding.”
In Taylor’s mind, he says the walkout needs to end so that teachers can get back in the classroom.
“If [more funding is] what the ultimate goal is then we won’t be back in school until August,” he said.
However, teachers News 4 spoke with believe more can be done.
“I feel like it’s a waiting game right now,” Cristy Gosset, a Putnam City teacher, told News 4. “I feel like the legislators think they can wait us out. And, I think they’ll be surprised because we’re teachers, we’re patient people.”
“If it’s one more day or two more days or a week or whatever it is, were here,” said Edmond teacher Robin Sheetz. “We are here to do what’s right for the kids of Oklahoma.”