It was not an unusual occurrence for hundreds of teachers in Oklahoma to leave their homes early on a Monday morning. What was different, however, is that instead of heading to their classrooms, they converged on the state capitol building in Oklahoma City to protest what they feel is neglect from politicians in the state regarding funding for schools.
State lawmakers passed a bill on Friday that would increase the average yearly salary of educators in the state by about $6,000. To pay for this the state will enact the first increase in taxes that have been imposed by the state legislature in nearly 30 years.
The problem, as far as the teachers are concerned, is that the legislature ignored a major part of the part of the demand made by teachers: More funding for classrooms that they say are overcrowding and grossly lacking in resources.
Teachers from around the state took part in the demonstrations and received support from superintendents that closed schools so that the educators could converge on the capitol building.
The teachers have been organized by the Oklahoma Educators Association and are uncompromising in their demand for more money to be spent on the education of children in the state.
Educators showed up again on Tuesday in what may have been larger numbers and literally flooded the capitol building. By 10:00 A.M., the capitol building had reached its capacity for occupancy and traffic in and out was at a standstill.
The teachers have vowed that they will not stop the protests until the schools receive the funding they need.