Students are not the only ones staging “walkouts” in the state of Oklahoma. All this week, school across the state of Oklahoma were forced to close their doors as many of their teachers staged a walkout and marched on the state capitol. The reason for the walkout is perplexing to some but for the teachers involved the message is clear: fair pay and proper funding.
The walkout comes just one week after the Governor signed a bill that would give teachers a wage increase of around 18%. This move seemed to make the problem worse however, as many teachers felt the move was just a temporary stop gap to keep the issue hidden.
Over 1,000 teachers have been part of this week’s flooding of the state capitol building and nearly 40,000 teachers have taken part in the state-wide walkout. They are saying that they are underpaid and their classrooms do not have the funding they need. There have been numerous reports of classrooms that do not have enough chairs for their students and teachers needing to work a second job just to keep food on their family’s table.
There is some sentiment that the teachers are grandstanding and the timing of the walkout is being questioned. Last week was spring break in most Oklahoma school districts and, with the walkout beginning Monday, many are saying that the teachers are just extending their vacations. One thing is for certain: getting the teachers back to work as soon as possible should be the priority of the state.