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OEA Calls For End Of Teacher Walkout

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OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma -

The Oklahoma Education Association held a news conference Thursday calling for the end of the teacher walkout.

In a statement, OEA said the walkout is ending, but they are not giving up, they are focusing on the next step which is getting more teachers and education supporters elected into office. 

"As classes resume, we must turn our attention towards the election season. Instead of making our case at the steps of the Capitol, we have the opportunity to make our voices heard at the ballot box," OEA President Alicia Priest said.

She said the walkout was able to secure millions in education funding for the next school year, but said the Legislature "has fallen well short of its responsibility to Oklahoma's students."

Priest said OEA leadership has been negotiating with the House and Senate, but said Senate Republicans won't budge on more funding. "They say they don't believe Oklahoma students need more funding. They're wrong. Lawmakers are simply refusing to cross the finish line."

OEA said school districts will continue to send groups to lobby at the Capitol and the OEA will continue to be there for them in support. They said their next phase is to get through election season and get more people who support education into Office. The OEA says 582 candidates filed for Office and several of them are teachers. 

"In addition to making our voices heard at the Capitol, we have the opportunity to have our voices heard at the ballot box. The state didn't find itself in a school funding crisis overnight. We got here by electing the wrong people to Office," Priest said. 

News On 6 spoke with several teachers who said even if their schools head back, the fight isn't over. They tell me they will be sending emails and sending groups to the Capitol and Alicia Priest says the OEA will be back to get the funding that they need for their students. 

Thursday marked Day 9 of the Oklahoma teacher walkout. To view our continuing coverage, go to our School Shutdown page.

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