Teachers walk out of school to protest funding, pay

Local News

Tens of thousands of Oklahoma educators arrived at the state capitol the same time they usually arrive at school on Monday.

Supporters of Oklahoma education traveled from hundreds of miles away hoping to make their voices heard.

This walkout happened even though Oklahoma lawmakers approved an emergency pay increase last week to give teachers a pay raise of more than $6,000.  

The Oklahoma Education Association says that’s a good starting point for a state, but it’s not enough.

Some teachers say it’s not just about pay raises for the teachers, the protest is about finding funding for Oklahoma education and wanting a better future for their kids.

One music teacher out of Lawton says during her first year of teaching many people were concerned she was going into education.

“Time and time again we have been receiving cuts over the past decade, and even more beyond that from education, and education is the foundation for so many successful careers and for so many professionals in our world,” Amanda Richey, a Whittier Elementary School Music Teacher in Lawton, said. “Our kids are the future and we need to be investing in them.”

 
School districts closed Tuesday
  • Anadarko
  • Cache
  • Duncan
  • Elgin
  • Lawton
  • Geronimo
  • Marlow
  • Indiahoma
  • Walters
School districts open Tuesday
  • Apache
  • Fletcher
  • Frederick
  • Velma

Richey says she is where she is today because of the dedication of her fellow teachers. She said she plans to keep going to the capitol for as long as it takes for lawmakers to make a change.

Other educators like Janice Campbell, who’ve been teaching for over 30 years, say the kids don’t have the experiences because the funds are not there.

Campbell also says class sizes are a big issue, not allowing students critical one on one time.

Cambell, who teachers in Norman,  was also one of the teachers who met with lawmakers this morning.

“I had a five-minute appointment with Senator Rob Standridge and I asked if he thought the funding in Oklahoma right now was adequate,” Campbell said. “First. he said. ‘I’m not sure. I need to study that a little bit first.’ The next time, I asked him again, he said ‘I think its fine right now.'”

In Oklahoma alone, more than 200 schools were closed Monday.

The teachers are also trying to force lawmakers to restore funding for education programs and supplies.

Teacher walkouts could continue into Tuesday.

According to the superintendent of Lawton Public Schools, the school system will decide to close school on a day-to-day basis starting Tuesday. 

Officials with the Lawton school district say they will continue to send advocacy teams to the capital, and allow full-time staff to work who may lose pay as the result of the walk-out.

The Lawton school board also declared the feeding sites below will be open if staff walks out.

 LAWTON SCHOOL FEEDING SITES

School

Address

Adams Elementary School

3501 NW Ferris Ave., Lawton, Okla. 73505

Almor West Elementary School

6902 SW Delta Ave., Lawton, Okla. 73505

Carriage Hills Elementary School

      215 SE Warwick Way, Lawton, Okla. 73501

Cleveland Elementary School

1202 SW 27th St., Lawton, Okla. 73505

Crosby Park Elementary School

1602 NW Horton Blvd., Lawton, Okla. 73505

Edison Elementary School

5801 NW Columbia Ave., Lawton, Okla. 73505

Eisenhower Elementary School

315 SW 52nd St., Lawton, Okla. 73505

Freedom Elementary School

5720 Fergusson Road, Lawton, Okla. 73503

Hugh Bish Elementary School

5611 NW Alan a Dale Lane, Lawton, Okla. 73505

Lawton High School

601 NW Fort Sill Blvd., Lawton, Okla. 73507

Lincoln Elementary School

601 SW Park Ave., Lawton, Okla. 73501

MacArthur Middle School

510 NE 45th St., Lawton, Okla. 73507

Pat Henry Elementary School

1401 NW Bessie Ave., Lawton, Okla. 73507

Pioneer Park Elementary School

3005 NE Angus Place, Lawton, Okla. 75307

Ridgecrest Elementary

1614 NW 47th St., Lawton, Okla. 73505

Sullivan Village Elementary School

3802 SE Elmhurst Lane, Lawton, Okla. 73501

Tomlinson Middle School

702 NW Homestead Drive, Lawton, Okla. 73505

Washington Elementary School

805 NW Columbia Ave., Lawton, Okla. 73507

Whittier Elementary School

1115 NW Laird Ave., Lawton, Okla. 73507

Woodland Hills Elementary School

405 NW Woodland Drive, Lawton, Okla. 73505

 

Weigh in on the walkouts below.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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