OKC school board introduces resolution supporting teacher walkout

The OKCPS Board of Education pledged to support all measures taken by classroom teachers to demand the necessary funding for a meaningful teacher pay raise. (Caroline Vandergriff/KOKH)

The Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education passed a resolution in support of teachers Monday night.

Teachers across the state are considering a walkout to send a clear message to lawmakers. Those who came to Monday’s board meeting were relieved to hear the board’s support.

“Our teachers are now the lowest paid teachers in the nation, and that can’t continue,” said acting Superintendent Rebecca Kaye.

The board recognized the current funding crisis and lack of solutions from the state legislature, pledging to back teachers in their fight to get a meaningful pay raise. They are ready to take more drastic steps to support teachers, including a district wide suspension of classes.

Superintendent Kaye knows a walkout will have major consequences on the entire community.

“If kids aren’t in school, some parents might lose their jobs if they can’t take leave, so the stakes are high,” said Kaye. “But our teachers are to the point, where the stakes are even higher for the future of the public education system in Oklahoma.”

Teachers hope to work with the district to minimize the impact of a walkout on students.

“Our kids are the reason we do this every day, so we want to make sure they are safe and taken care of,” said Jessica Tilley, and OKCPS teacher. “That’s a huge concern as we’re planning this.”

OKCPS teachers are working now to get surrounding districts on the same page. They are eyeing a potential walkout after spring break on March 26th. State testing starts on April 2nd.

The Tulsa school board plans to approve a similar resolution next week.

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