TPS 'Work To Contract' Protest Hopes To Put Pressure On State Legislature
TULSA, Oklahoma - Teachers at Tulsa high schools like Nathan Hale High School are joining hundreds of teachers across the district in protesting education funding by working to the letter of their contract.
Classes at Nathan Hale started at 8:30 a.m. Teachers walked into Hale at 8 a.m. according to their contract. They say they will leave at 3:50 p.m., completing their contractual 7 hour and 50 minute day.
They say they will be there for parent teacher conferences Monday night and Tuesday because it’s in their contract.
This all comes after state lawmakers are facing an April 2nd deadline. That is when teachers and now state employees have said they will stop working unless pay raises and funding they've demanded are in place.
You may remember when Step Up Oklahoma failed, which would have provided $5,000 pay raises for teachers among other things, both Republicans and Democrats in the legislature voted against it and both sides blamed each other for its failure.
Well, now the Oklahoma Legislature is facing a package that's worth much more with teachers and state employees demanding raises in a package that totals over $1B over three years.
If it doesn't by April 1st, districts like TPS have said they will support a teacher walkout.
We spoke to one parent who's behind the teachers.
"I am with them 100 percent," said Tiffany Roos, Hale parent. "The kids - they are important to this world - and they need to know and feel appreciated.
"And right now, they do not feel appreciated. They really need these raises."
We've heard from some teachers who are skeptical that this working the contract will be effective in proving their point, and may end up affecting districts more than lawmakers, but nevertheless, working the contract starts today district wide for Tulsa Public Schools.
The athletic director told me he's hopeful that teachers will still be able to get students' grades posted so it doesn't affect any athlete's eligibility.