OKLAHOMA CITY – Educators from across the state are preparing for their fifth day at the Oklahoma State Capitol, but their presence has already made an impact on several Oklahomans.
Last month, the Oklahoma Education Association announced that it was 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, Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill that raises teachers’ salaries by an average of $6,100. It also gives $1,250 raises for support staff and adds $50 million in education funding.
However, many teachers said education funding was severely lacking in the measure.
The OEA estimates that about 25,000 to 30,000 people showed up at the Capitol on Monday for the first day of the teacher walkout. However, it was unknown how many people would show up throughout the week as some districts required teachers to head back to the classroom.
On Tuesday, the OEA estimates that about 20,000 people were at the Capitol to meet with lawmakers. The mass of humanity was also seen by drivers who were traveling through the tunnel near the Capitol.
According to the OEA, more than 30,000 people attended the rally at the Capitol on Wednesday. The organization says it was the largest number of attendees this week.