Here’s Why Teachers Are Still Walking Out Despite $6000 Raises

Here’s Why Teachers Are Still Walking Out Despite $6000 Raises

Thousands of Oklahoma teachers walked out of school Monday and protested at the state capitol for higher salaries and increased funding.

Oklahoma legislators approved a $6,100 raise for state teachers across the board in an attempt to evade the walk-out, but teachers proceeded with the protest, NBC News reported.

Here’s Why Teachers Are Still Walking Out Despite $6000 Raises

“My niece sits on the floor in her middle school English class in Moore, Oklahoma, because they’re overloaded into the class and don’t have enough furniture,” Edmond Public Schools elementary teacher Carrie Akins told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“My son in ninth grade had to get an override on his schedule because his Spanish class was too full … he was student number 41 in the class. As a state, we have failed them.”

Here’s Why Teachers Are Still Walking Out Despite $6000 Raises

Akins wants smaller class sizes, better teachers, and more funding for classroom materials, the teacher mentioned.

“I hate that administrators won’t get rid of a bad teacher (provided they don’t break laws or mistreat students) because there are no other teachers lining up to teach,” Akins said to TheDCNF. “The lack of competition brings quality down to the point of emergency certifications without any education requirements. Our kids deserve better!”

“If I didn’t have a second job, I’d be on food stamps,” said Rae Lovelace, a third-grade teacher and single mother in northwest Oklahoma who works 30 to 40 hours a week at a second job.

Thousands of people were outside the state capitol again Tuesday morning, many focusing on getting inside the building to fulfill the Oklahoma Education Association’s pledge to pack the rotunda.

By 10 a.m. so many people were inside the Capitol that troopers began denying access above the first floor, letting people into the building only after others exited. The building’s capacity is around 1,000.

Students, administrators, parents, support staff and teachers cheered in turn, with the cohort of teachers screaming the loudest. “This is our house,” chanted people jamming three floors.

“I try not to cry because it’s been a long time coming,” said Kimberly Miller, who teaches at Santa Fe High School in Edmond Public Schools. “We’ve gone without textbooks; I’m a science teacher and I go without proper equipment for labs. I’m happy people are finally seeing the reality.”

Teachers by the thousands also demonstrated in the Kentucky state capital Frankfort.

Here’s Why Teachers Are Still Walking Out Despite $6000 Raises

The Courier-Journal newspaper said that all 120 public school districts in that state were closed although most were already on their Spring break vacation.

– ‘Not going to take it’ –

Kentucky teachers were primarily protesting proposed changes to pension benefits and demanding more funding for public education.

A vocal crowd inside the state capitol rotunda in Frankfort chanted “public schools!” and sang “We’re not going to take it anymore” as legislators began their work day.

Mary Greeley News