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Cache Public Schools taking steps to prepare for teacher walkout

CACHE, Okla. –  While many families are waiting to see if lawmakers will agree to plan to fund teacher pay raises before April 1, one Oklahoma school district is already taking measures to make sure that the school year won’t be extended.

The Oklahoma Education Association is seeking a $10,000 pay raise for Oklahoma teachers over three years, a $5,000 pay raise for support professionals over three years, a cost-of-living adjustment for retirees, and the restoration of funding for education and core government services.

OEA announced that it is tentatively planning a teacher walkout for April 2 if legislators don’t pass a measure to increase teacher and staff pay.

As a result, schools across the state would be forced to close their doors due to a lack of educators. However, many school districts will be forced to make up days if the walkout lasts longer than four days.

Earlier this week, Cache Independent School District Superintendent Chad Hance sent a letter to parents to talk about what the school district is doing now in preparation for the walkout.

Hance says the goal is to finish the school year on May 25, but says school must be in session for at least 1080 hours.

“With the looming suspension of school and not knowing how long it may last, we are extending our school day to accommodate for hours missed during the walkout. Hopefully there will be a resolution, however, I feel we must make these necessary adjustments for the minimum of a 10 day walkout. If the walkout goes less or longer than the 10 days I’m estimating, I will modify this plan to reflect that reality,” Hance said in the letter.

Beginning on Monday, the district will extend the school day by starting class at 8 a.m. Car riders will be released at 3:50 p.m., while bus riders will be released at 3:45 p.m.

Also, lunch periods will be cut from 30 minutes to 25 minutes, and breakfast serving times will coincide with the early bus routes.

Students will also attend school on May 25, even though the school year was scheduled to end on May 24.

Hance says that Career Tech students will also continue to attend during the suspension of school with the bus running at the normal time. However, Career Tech students will need to make arrangements to meet the bus at the Cache schools campus.

“I realize this will be an inconvenience for the remainder of the school year but I feel the changes are needed to possibly avoid extending the school year into June, which may interfere with plans already made by families. These actions are subject to change due to the unknown number of hours we may have to make up. Currently, there is no way to know how long the walk out may last. As more details of these changes occur we will do our best to inform our parents,” Hance said.