Communities Preparing To Care For Students If Teachers Walkout
BARTLESVILLE, Oklahoma - The possibility of a teacher walkout has schools and communities making plans to take care of students while teachers are out.
The big concern is for hundreds and thousands of young Oklahoma children who depend on getting food at school.
Pastor Steve Hood is offering two kitchens and whatever space is needed at his church to help feed hungry children if the teacher walkout happens.
St. Luke's Episcopal was one of the first organizations to offer help.
"I've been approached to possibly be one of the feeding stations for the children, a place where people come and pick up prepared meals," Hood said.
Bartlesville has 4,000 students and about half qualify for free or reduced lunches.
A parents group called Public Education Advocates for Kids is taking inventory of resources they can mobilize if teachers walkout.
Groups like the YMCA and Boys & Girls Club will be called on to help, with the focus on hungry children and parents who can't miss work to take care of them.
"At the end of the day, we can assure that our students, those who need it, who can't stay at home for whatever reason, will be fed," said Dan Droege with PEAK Bartlesville.
Droege said they're working on childcare for younger students and student leaders from the high school are planning to help.
He's been encouraged by an outpouring of support.
"We hope it doesn't happen, but we want to be prepared in the best possible manner if it does happen," Droege said.
The group is raising money to help get teachers down to the capitol.
They've got just over three weeks and said they're confident they'll be ready to take care of students.