OKLAHOMA CITY - As teachers from across the state headed to the Oklahoma State Capitol for the sixth day this month, they were joined by a group of attorneys.
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.
For the past week, thousands of educators have descended on the Capitol, urging lawmakers to find a way to fund education.
While they have been pushing for increased funding, images of broken chairs and outdated textbooks have gone viral. It seems the photos captured the attention of another group, who is offering their help.
On Monday, over 100 members of Girl Attorney, LLC. headed to the Capitol to ask the legislature to do better.
"The purpose of this visit is to meet with members of the 56th Legislature to discuss their plans to fully fund public education in Oklahoma. Various stakeholders have proposed possible solutions, and we expect our elected representatives to be able to speak intelligently about the merits and potential pitfalls of each. We also expect that a representative who is ideologically opposed to a particular proposal will be prepared to present a detailed alternative. We are business owners and taxpayers ourselves; if there is a means of providing a quality public education to our children without increasing taxes, then we would love to hear the details.
We love details.
As Oklahomans, we so pride ourselves on our ability to come together in difficult times that we gave it a name. We call it the Oklahoma Standard, and that is what we expect from the people we sent to the Capitol. If a legislator is unable or unwilling to contribute to a sustainable solution, then we will work to find a replacement. Maybe she'll be there on Monday," a letter from the group read.