Tulsa Public Schools to join districts in planned teacher walkout

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TULSA, Okla. – Tulsa Public Schools are joining other districts in a planned, statewide teacher walkout.

On Sunday, Superintendent Deborah Gist announced the school district will support the walkout along with others across Oklahoma.

Gist said they will be working with the leadership of the Oklahoma Education Association as well as their own Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association.

OEA 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.

Per the group’s plan, the district will also shut down April 2 unless legislation to increase teacher pay and funding to public education is passed by April 1.

“Every school in our district would be closed indefinitely until Oklahoma state leaders create a permanent sustainable plan to pay educators the professional salaries they deserve,” Gist said.

Additionally, beginning Monday, TPS teachers will adopt a “work the contract” effort.

“Our teachers will work only the seven hours and 50 minutes per day required by contract instead of working late into the evening and during the weekend,” Gist said.

The superintendent said they are also working with community advocates and partner agencies to determine how to also support families by providing childcare, meals and other services should the walkout go on as planned.

“While we are hoping to avoid taking this action, we stand ready to do so should it be necessary,” she said. “Enough is enough. We must be willing to do everything within our power to change conditions for our teachers, students, families, and schools… This is a time to lead with character, and I am incredibly proud of our educators and humbled to stand beside them at this historic moment in time where I am confident that we can effect this long-overdue change.”

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