OKLAHOMA CITY – Thousands of parents, teachers, support staff and many others are planning to go to the state Capitol Monday for an education rally.
Oklahoma City Public Schools said they are sending people over to participate in the “Brighter Future” education rally.
“The Brighter Future Rally is a great opportunity to voice our concerns in improving Oklahoma’s Education System for our students, teachers, and staff. It is very important for the state’s largest school district to participate and show support in hopes of Oklahoma’s Education moving forward to enhance teaching resources, develop and strengthen teacher compensation. As we all know classroom instruction is valuable for students and teachers; therefore, Oklahoma City Public Schools will not cancel school for the day, but will be sending a delegation of employee groups from school sites and administration to represent the district at the rally. I would like to encourage all parents, valued partners and community members to attend in hopes of making a difference in the life of our students, teachers and staff,” said Rob Neu, OKCPS Superintendent.
OKCPS says the district expects two or three staff members from each school to attend the rally, along with a group of Central Office employees.
The district is not cancelling classes.
Rally organizers want lawmakers to adopt a long-term plan to improve teacher compensation and focus on policies that strengthen the teacher pipeline. Rally participants will meet with legislators in the morning.
Superintendent Joy Hofmeister is promoting a five-year plan to increase teacher pay and time on instruction. Rally organizers hope lawmakers will support Hofmeister’s plan and other potential solutions for the teacher shortage, including:
- Establishing policies/incentives to recruit students into colleges of education.
- Streamlining the certification process for out-of-state teachers who are highly qualified and want to teach in Oklahoma.
- Easing financial restrictions for retirees who want to return to the classroom.
- Establishing policies to support new educators in their first three years of teaching.
Last year’s rally for education drew more than 30,000 people.