Oklahoma Teachers Continue to Strive for Change

By Emily Tucker 

A year after 2018’s teacher walkout, ripples are still being made in Oklahoma, influencing legislation and inspiring members of the OU community.  

What began with a passionate meeting held by Oklahoma teachers on March 2, 2018, transformed into a statewide walkout within a month, when on April 2, 2018 teachers collectively protested low pay and less-than-adequate education funding by “walking out” and refusing to return to their jobs.

Thousands of teachers from all across Oklahoma flooded the Oklahoma Capitol every day of the 10-day protest, holding rallies in the rotunda and raising their voices in support of funding education.

Prior to the walkout, a bill was passed — the first since the 1990 strike — that raised teacher salaries by $6,000, allocated $50 million for education funding, and raised salaries of support staff by $1,250. But for some teachers, the bill ignored demands from the Oklahoma Education Association, and on April 2, teachers flooded the Capitol voicing their dissatisfaction.

In a 2018 news report, Oklahoma Education Association president Alicia Priest described these demands as a “meaningful” pay raise for educators and additional funding to restore classroom cuts.

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