Teachers in Oklahoma plan walkout over pay - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Teachers in Oklahoma plan walkout over pay

A statewide school closure strategy is being worked out in an effort to get the legislature to act. (Source: KFOR/CNN) A statewide school closure strategy is being worked out in an effort to get the legislature to act. (Source: KFOR/CNN)

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR/CNN) - Teachers in Oklahoma are lobbying the state legislature for pay increases. 

They say if they don't get more money soon, they'll walk out. 

"We're starting to ramp up the pressure," said Alicia Priest, president of the Oklahoma Education Association.

The group is set to announce this week a statewide school closure strategy, all in an effort to get the legislature to act.

"The legislature has all the opportunity to solve the problem before it comes to that. They need to fund education and our core services and they need to do it now," Priest said.

The union being careful not to call it a strike, saying they're working with school districts so they can close in order for teachers to lobby at the capitol.

"Now we're at a point where school boards are going to start passing resolutions in support of teachers," Priest said.

"For us, it would look like a snow day," said Cecilia J. Robinson-Woods, superintendent of Millwood Public Schools. "We build in snow days into our calendar so it would not mean that we would have to miss any additional schools or make up any days to accommodate this."

One potential date being discussed is April 2.

"There will be some action on April 2, and what that action is, is really dependent on what the legislature does between now and then," Priest said.

That date just happens to coincide, though, with end of the year state testing.

"Until we fund education, those test scores are meaningless," Priest said.

"Right now, when we really should be worried about preparing for tests and preparing about how we're going to best prepare kids to take the test - we're worried about the teacher walk out," Robinson-Woods said.

The millwood superintendent said they will support their teachers - teachers who feel like the walk out is the only option left.

"You never want to hear the word strike.  But at this point it's almost like our hands are tied.  What else are we supposed to do?" said Monique Tye of the Millwood Teacher Union 

Oklahoma Education Association's survey said nearly 80 percent of respondents support a statewide school closure. 

The organization said 10,000 teachers, parents and community members responded.

Copyright 2018 KFOR via CNN. All rights reserved.

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