The Oklahoma Education Association (OEA) will hold a press conference on Thursday to reveal their plan about a possible teacher strike. If teachers walk out and go on strike it could leave kids out of the classroom. Guthrie Public Schools (GPS) says they continue to discuss all possible actions.
Earlier this week, after a meeting with approximately 75 state superintendents, the state’s largest teacher union said “schools will shut down” if a pay raise for teachers was not approved by April 23.
However, on Wednesday afternoon, OEA moved the date to April 1.
The statewide teacher walkout continues to build momentum after legislators have been unable to find a measure to fund a teacher’s pay raise.
“We are putting lawmakers on notice,” OEA President Alicia Priest said in a Facebook video.
She continued, “They must work swiftly to follow the law and pass an education budget by April 1. If that budget doesn’t include a meaningful pay raise for teachers and support professionals and additional funding to restore cuts to Oklahoma classrooms, OEA calls for state-wide closures beginning April 2.”
Guthrie Superintendent Dr. Mike Simpson says the school district has had discussions on the issue.
“We have been in discussions with the leadership of the Guthrie Association of Classroom Teachers about all options locally as well as the steps other districts are taking to show support for our teachers and students,” Simpson said in an email response to Guthrie News Page.
The Guthrie Board of Education meets on Monday for their regular scheduled meeting. School board members and Simpson are likely to address the topic.
OEA is seeking the Legislature to approve at least a $10,000 pay raise over three years. More details are expected to be revealed in the conference on Thursday.
“We encourage increased funding for education and are thankful of the support our teachers enjoy from our community,” Simpson added.
One of the biggest pushes has come from social media and primarily at Oklahoma Teacher Walkout – The Time Is Now!. The Facebook page has grown to over 60,000 as of Wednesday morning.
On March 4, the social media page posted a list of several school districts, both small and large, who supported a possible suspension.
GPS was not on the list.