Some Oklahoma educators and their supporters have begun a 110-mile march to urge state lawmakers to increase funding for classrooms.
More than 100 people set out from Webster High School in Tulsa on Wednesday on the first leg of a seven-day trek to the state Capitol in Oklahoma City.
“We are willing to walk 100 miles for our students,” Patti Ferguson-Palmer, president of the Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association, told the Tulsa World. “What is the Oklahoma Legislature willing to do? We are not all young and fit.”
The 110-mile route will be divided into 7 days of travel, allowing for supporters to either walk the entire duration or one or more segments.
It is scheduled to begin Wednesday, April 4th and culminate on Tuesday, April 10th at the state capitol.
Here’s a breakdown of what each leg will look like:
- 4/4 – Day 1: Webster HS – Kellyville HS | 17.9 miles | 5 hrs, 57 mins walking
- 4/5 – Day 2: Kellyville HS – Bristow HS | 15.1 miles | 4 hrs, 59 mins walking
- 4/6 – Day 3: Bristow HS – Stroud HS | 17.5 miles | 5 hrs, 46 mins walking
- 4/7 – Day 4: Stroud HS – Chandler HS | 15.6 miles | 5 hrs, 7 mins walking
- 4/8 – Day 5: Chandler HS – Wellston HS | 10.2 miles | 3 hrs, 21 mins walking
- 4/9 – Day 6: Wellston HS – Jones HS | 18.4 miles | 6 hrs, 6 mins walking
- 4/10 – Day 7: Jones HS – State Capitol | 15.4 miles | 5 hrs, 6 mins walking
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According to the Tulsa World, organizers have planned to stop at gas stations mapped out along the route every hour or so for bathroom breaks.
Donations of food and water are greatly appreciated. Click here to see a list of needed supplies.
Many Oklahoma schools are closed for the third straight day as teachers push for better pay and education funding.
Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation last week granting teachers 15 to 18 percent salary increases.
The National Education Association says Oklahoma ranks 47th among states and the District of Columbia in public school revenue per student and Oklahoma’s average teacher salaries ranked 49th before the raises.