Teacher candidacies surge in wake of spring walkouts

OKLAHOMA CITY – Many of the teachers who converged this past spring on their state capitols in protest are hoping to return soon – this time as lawmakers.

Hundreds of teachers are running for office in November elections. They said they want to be at the table when legislatures make decisions about public education spending and teacher wages, issues that were at the root of walkouts in states including Oklahoma, Arizona and Kentucky.

Union counts put the number of educators nationwide on ballots for offices from school board to state legislature at more than 300.

In Oklahoma alone, more than half the 100 educators who filed for office survived last month’s primaries.

For some, a win will mean giving up teaching because legislative sessions overlap the school year.