Deadline for teacher walkout moved up to April 1


OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) - The Oklahoma Education Association has moved up a deadline for a teacher walkout if lawmakers do not provide more funding and teacher pay raises.

OEA President Alicia Priest says that legislators have until April 1 to restore education funding and give Oklahoma teachers a pay raise. If a plan is not in place, the OEA will call for statewide school closures beginning April 2.

"Our school communities are desperate for change, because we know what is at stake here," Priest said.

Yesterday, the OEA said they would give lawmakers until April 23, a date that many teachers felt was too far away.

Teachers expressed anger and disappointment in the organization Wednesday.

"Those are the first few emotions you kind of go through as a teacher when your expecting your union that you pay dues to to support and back you," said Heather Reed, a 2nd grade teacher at Lee Elementary School.

Reed's colleague Shelia Thompson says the announcement prompted many OEA members to jump ship.

"They're our voice as a union and that's not at all what's happening," Thompson said. And, yes, people are talking about canceling their membership."

Priest apologized for the confusion and stated that her members are ready to act now, which lead to the accelerated timeline.

"Teachers, support professionals, community members and everyone who supports this movement. We are all in this together and we all have the same goal. We want the legislature to make good on the broken promises of the past and invest in our future." Priest said.

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