Out-of-state districts target Oklahoma teachers on Facebook

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OKLAHOMA CITY - It seemed to be back to business as usual on Tuesday at the Oklahoma State Capitol.

There was even enough room on the fourth floor rotunda for a square dancing group to perform their moves.

“With do si do and dancing back at the capitol,” said Oklahoma City teacher Edith Vickers. “Everything back to normal. Hello? It’s tough. It is very tough. I feel like we’ve been slapped in the face.”

Delegations of teachers were still at the state capitol on Tuesday, filling the gallery in the House as representatives continued to discuss education funding. But, there were no crowds out in the rotundas.

With mixed reviews on the outcomes of the teacher walkout, out-of-state districts know the dissatisfaction is still there.

“I think the reaction to this could either be empowerment and action moving forward or it could be a demoralization of the state doesn’t care about us,” said Edmond teacher Rachelle Freund. “I’m not surprised that other states are going to capitalize on that.”

And, some Edmond educators said they’re using Facebook.

Donni Harris found an application from San Antonio in her feed with a $1,200 relocation stipend in the ad.

“I know a lot of our teachers are leaving us,” Harris said. "It kind of worried me. So, I was just - how easy is this."

Harris said they obviously know she’s an educator. She’s been posting on social media during the walkout.

She doesn’t want to leave Oklahoma but is concerned about those who might.

“It was just so convenient, so accessible and just so easy for our teaches to leave us,” Harris said. "And, it’s pretty scary, and we have to step up."

“We’ve got people trying to steal us away and, with the way the climate is now, I would imagine that there are some teachers that are going to go for it,” said James Larrison, another Edmond teacher who saw the San Antonio application in his Facebook feed.

“Why not take advantage of that? If I was in San Antonio or any other state, really,” said Ed Allen, president of the Oklahoma City teacher’s union. "I think this is a very fertile ground to recruit teachers and our lawmakers ought to keep that in mind."

Many districts are continuing to send delegations of teachers up to the capitol.

Allen said he does not believe they are going to secure any more funding but they just want the legislators to know they are watching them.

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