TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma - Tahlequah teachers say they'll join the planned walk-out if the Legislature doesn't come up with a plan to pay for teacher pay raises and increase education funding by April.

Tahlequah Superintendent Lisa Presley posted a statement Monday saying the district is supporting its teachers.

She's warning parents to be prepared for a shutdown.

The full statement reads:

“Teachers in Tahlequah Public Schools (TPS) have voted to walk out on April 2 if a budget for public education isn’t passed by April 1. The TPS Board of Education adopted a resolution on Thursday, March 8 pledging their full support of our teachers. Our school district stands ready to take the steps necessary to improve conditions for our school district and our faculty and staff—including a district-wide suspension of classes.

“The shortage of qualified teachers in Oklahoma is beyond a crisis. Tahlequah Public Schools can’t find a quality substitute for a kindergarten classroom or qualified special education teachers. This is just one example of the teacher shortage crisis in a district that is in the same community as a university known for producing teachers.

“Current 9th grade students that entered PK in 2008 have experienced nothing but cuts to education funding. Oklahoma ranks at the top in the nation in cuts to state formula funding per student.

“So, please be prepared for a suspension of classes on April 3. The April 2 date for us in Tahlequah Public Schools is already a holiday on our school calendar. If classes are suspended on April 3, a message will be sent on the school calling system and posted to the website and school Facebook pages.

“Tahlequah Public Schools will do all that we can to keep our stakeholders informed of school closings, extra-curricular events and circumstances that affect students. Our goal is to protect our students as much as possible while school is suspended. If you have questions about school activities, please contact the activity sponsor, school principal, or the TPS Board of Education at 918-458-4100.

“Please contact your local legislators to act swiftly and meaningfully to develop a viable plan to provide faculty and staff the professional salaries they deserve and restore public education funding. Senator Dewayne Pemberton can be contacted at 405-521-5533 or by email at pemberton@oksenate.gov. Representative Matt Meredith can be contacted at 405-557-7408 or by email at matt.meredith@okhouse.gov. If you prefer to call our legislators, text your ZIP code to 520-200-2223 to receive a text with their names and phone numbers.”