SHAWNEE, Okla. – Several school districts across the metro are now speaking out following an announcement by the state’s largest teacher’s union about a possible walkout.
The Oklahoma Education Association 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.
OEA announced that it is tentatively planning a teacher walkout for April 2 if legislators don’t increase teacher and staff pay.
“Our goals remain the same- to force the legislature to pass a plan that provides teachers and support professionals a significant pay raise, and restores critical funding to our classrooms,” said OEA President Alicia Priest in a video posted to the union’s Facebook page. “We will not allow lawmakers, once again, to shortchange our students, our teachers and our support professionals.”
Within the past week, several school districts have announced that they will support their teachers if they decide to walk out.
However, one school district says that while it supports its teachers, it will not close school for a walkout.
"North Rock Creek Public Schools will be open and in session supporting all school activities everyday of our 2017-2018 school year. We are so excited about the opportunities provided for our 635 students and construction on NRC High is going strong! The NRC Community has spoke loud and clear about their support for our school district. The work will not stop at NRC even a single day for our students.
We also understand that there is growing concern in Oklahoma regarding education funding. North Rock Creek Schools does support public school teachers and support staff and the work that they do educating and caring for the children of our school district. The Oklahoma Legislature is the governing body that dictates funding to public school districts and North Rock Creek School will continue to encourage the Legislature to adequately fund our schools and compensate our teachers and support staff!
We look forward to finishing the school year strong and taking care of your kids every day!" a note from North Rock Creek Public School Superintendent Blake Moody read.
On Wednesday, Stroud Public Schools announced that its Board of Education passed a motion to keep the schools open during a walkout.
"Motion for the Stroud Public Schools to remain in session during any proposed work stoppage according to the approved school calendar and to conduct business on a usual and customary basis.' We appreciate the support of the community in our effort to provide a high-quality education to the students of the Stroud Public School District," the district announced on Facebook.
Officials with the Pauls Valley Public School District spoke with News 4, and said that the district will not close school on April 2.
Instead, school leaders are looking at other dates for a potential teacher walkout.