Tulsa Teacher No Stranger To State Capitol Visits
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma - For a 4th day, Thousands of teachers, students, and parents took to the Capitol, fighting for education funding and letting lawmakers know they’re not leaving.
For some long-time educators, this historic walkout has been Deja Vu.
One teacher from Tulsa said she's been coming to the Capitol since 1990.
On Thursday, Beth Jones walked into the Capitol just like she's done numerous times before, to fight a battle she says she’s been fighting for more than 20 years.
Jones is on a mission for educators, support staff, and her students.
"The teachers aren't the enemy, the schools aren't the enemy we just really care about our kids and we need more to take care of the families that take care of your children," Jones said.
She said she's been coming to the Capitol since 1990. She said when she first started teaching she was fortunate that her parents helped her but has since felt the funding shortfall firsthand.
"My children would've qualified for free lunches based on what I made at the beginning," said Jones.
Jones, along with thousands of other teachers, wants to see less teacher turnover, smaller class sizes, and more funding. State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said teachers want to see action.
"Our teachers are here telling their stories because of what they have experienced in classrooms … they want to make sure lawmakers hear from them," said Hofmeister.
So far, there has been some action. A couple of bills are going before the Senate Friday, all with the main objective to put more money into education. Jones said this is a step in the right direction, but it's still not enough.
"Many of them have college degrees or college hours. They had to pass certification tests, and they're in the poverty level, it’s tough, yeah its really tough and it breaks my heart for them that we didn't succeed for them," Jones said.
The Senate comes back into session bright and early Friday morning at 8:30.