OKLAHOMA CITY – Teachers across Oklahoma are participating in a statewide walkout Monday over teacher pay and school funding.
Last month, the Oklahoma Education Association announced that it 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.
Last week, Governor Mary Fallin signed HB1010XX into law, which funds an average $6,000 pay increase for teachers along with money for support staff and textbooks.
While teachers say that while they are grateful for the pay increase, the conversation on public education can’t stop there.
Many teachers say they are more concerned about proper funding for the schools.
Alicia Priest, president of the Oklahoma Education Association, says educators are working in classrooms without full sets of textbooks, and that some of the books are more than 20 years old, affecting the quality of education for the students.
Although House Bill 1010XX, provides education funding, she said that the $50 million in the bill “will buy less than one textbook per student in Oklahoma.”
Over the past several years, budget cuts have negatively impacted numerous state agencies, including the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
Now, teachers say they are fed up.
Teachers are walking out Monday to pressure lawmakers for better education funding.
State officials say up to 30,000 people are expected to attend the demonstration. Enhanced security measures will be in place on the grounds and inside the building.
Teachers are expected to start gathering at the Capitol around 9 a.m.
KFOR will be following the story throughout the day.