Opponents Of Teacher Walkout Say It's The Wrong Method
TULSA, Oklahoma - Twenty days from a possible teacher walkout and no sign of progress on the education budget in the legislature.
Many school boards have announced their support of the planned walkout and school shutdown.
However, there are others who believe the education funding crisis is exaggerated and, regardless, a walkout is wrong.
Even though teachers seem to have the momentum of support - from students, administrators, and parents – there is a movement opposing the walkout.
One opponent is Rex Lawhorn, a parent who is also running for governor.
“That's holding the entire state hostage to meet an impossible goal,” said Lawhorn. “Walking out now won't do anything to foster positive conversations between anybody.”
Several lawmakers have similar concerns.
High school students meeting at the capitol with State Representative Jeff Coody heard him compare the walkout to extortion.
"It's probably not doable and you're going to suffer as a result," said Coody.
The video of that meeting with Coody was on the Facebook page "Oklahomans for Public Education."
But David Van believes his is a more reasonable voice.
Van says, “there are ways to fix it and save money pretty quickly. It just takes political will.”
Van is a charter school proponent who believes the entire system of education should be reconsidered before a massive new investment.
“To unlock education the way it needs to be, our kids deserve, we have to get away from the 18th century model we're hanging onto,” said Van.
The walkout is about overall funding and teacher pay, but even people arguing over the walkout seem to agree the pay isn't competitive.
“Now the teachers are saying they're going to do something about it,” said Lawhorn. “I don't agree with what they're doing, but I understand their frustration.”
Here in Tulsa, a large rally is planned for Thursday at noon downtown. It’s in support of teachers and the goal is to make a walkout unnecessary.