If Guthrie school teachers decide to walk with other state-wide teachers on April 2 due to the lack of funding, athletics and ACT testing will go on as scheduled for Guthrie Public Schools. The school district has also established a meal plan for students.
The Oklahoma Education Association has called for a statewide teachers strike to begin on April 2 unless state lawmakers approve over $800 million in additional funding, including a $10,000 teacher pay raise.
On Monday, the House approved a series of tax increases that would raise an estimated $447 million to pay for a salary hike for teachers, school support personnel and state employees. Lawmakers said the bill would fund an average teacher pay raise of more than $6,000.
The bill still requires support by the state Senate and governor.
On Tuesday, the school district released a work stoppage question and answer release if teachers were to leave the classroom.
Superintendent Dr. Mike Simpson says he will make a decision on Friday if school will be cancelled.
“Board policy allows me the discretion to close school in case of an emergency. Obviously, lack of staff to properly supervise or educate our students is an emergency.”
Simpson says it would not be possible to cover the number of staff members who indicate their participation in the work stoppage.
“I have polled our teachers twice and they have overwhelmingly indicated their willingness to participate in the walkout if the legislature fails to act before April 2.”
If classes are cancelled, athletics and extracurricular activities will continue during the work stoppage based on the willingness of sponsors and coaches to provide oversight.
Practices and rehearsals will continue to take place after school hours and transportation will be provided by the school district.
Meals for students during work stoppage
The Oklahoma State Department of Education authorized GPS to serve meals at the following sites.
Cotteral Elementary Breakfast 7:30-8:00 a.m. Lunch 11:30 a.m. -12:00 noon
Central Elementary (Lunch Only) 11:30 a.m.-12:00 noon
Guthrie Upper Elementary (Sack Lunch) 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Anyone under the age of 19 is eligible to receive this meal for free. Due to federal guidelines, the meals must be consumed on school premises. Anyone 18 and over will be charged $3.65 per meal. If demand does not warrant continuation of this schedule, it will be adjusted
Statewide testing and ACT
Students in grades third through fifth are expected to begin their state testing on April 2 and are to be completed by April 20. Students sixth through eighth grade are to be completed by April 27.
If school is not in session, students will be expected to take the tests once they return to school.
The ACT will be given to all juniors on Tuesday, April 3 at 8 a.m.
Meridian Technology Center to remain open
MTC will remain open during the work stoppage, and students are still expected to attend their classes. Transportation to and from MTC will continue as scheduled.
Graduation will continue on May 18.
If the work stoppage extends beyond the banked days the district will look at adding minutes to the school day first. Extending the school calendar will be required to fulfill the 180 day contract.