Vian teachers explain why Oklahoma schools need funding

VIAN, OK (KFSM) -- Many teachers in Oklahoma are headed to the State Capitol Monday, April 2, to protest the lack of funding for their schools.

Teachers in Vian took 5NEWS inside the halls to show us what they are fighting for.

School leaders said they are using textbooks that are older than most of their senior students. Teachers who retired were not replaced due to lack of funding, so current teachers have had to bring those students into their classrooms. Many students also share textbooks.

"Mrs. Ross, who is our algebra teacher. She has 75 to 80 kids and has 30 books to work with," teacher Larry Jamison said.

Teachers often have to use their own funds to teach.

"Almost every week I go to the store and buy stuff out of my own pocket, so that we can have projects just like what you saw.. the radish seeds. I had to buy all that so that they could do that project. I want them to have every opportunity and I don't feel like sometimes the state of Oklahoma worries about that," teacher Cindy Rogers said.

Since teachers took to social media threatening a walkout, lawmakers offered a raise. The walkout is still happening because teachers say there's something more important at stake.

"You're saying this isn't about teacher raises? It's not. The is about funding for our kids because this is why we are here and the most important thing is, we are the community." superintendent Victor Salcedo said. "Our school is about community and we take pride in that, but also our kids are very important to us and we are fighting for them."

Just like many Oklahoma schools in the area, Vian has had to cut electives and AP classes. For the past ten years, funding has been taken from the school without any coming back.

According to school leaders, Vian has been stripped of over $300,000 in the last three years.