No Promises Made As Teachers Meet With Lawmakers
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma - Governor Mary Fallin was not at the State Capitol Monday. She said she’s standing behind the lawmakers' plan.
"Is it as much as they want? No, we understand it's not as much as they want. But it is a big step forward," said Governor Fallin.
Some teachers were able to get some face time with lawmakers but no one got any promises and a few folks left discouraged.
Outside Representative John Bennett's office, a crowd of constituents waited for a face to face meeting.
Teachers and parents crowded lawmakers' offices, wanting promises for more funding.
“I'm glad we got what we got this year because I'm telling you the fight to get to this point took everything,” said Representative Kevin McDugle.
A group of teachers from Okay was asking for more money for the classroom.
“And we want to work together to find a solution for these kids because they deserve it,” said Okay teacher Christine Hayes.
Outside the capitol, teachers were marching, while inside they were lobbying.
Teachers from Caney Valley wanted their school to have money for new textbooks.
In their meeting with Representative Travis Dunlap, teachers and parents came out with little hope.
“I did not find anything in there that would be a promising future for my 4th grader,” said Caney Valley parent Tina Allen.
Broken Arrow's Donna Gradel, the state teacher of the year, had better access than most to the House leadership.
“I think they were pretty honest with us when they said they're not going to be able to come up with another large revenue package this session,” said Gradel.
The teachers are determined the pressure of a walkout will force the legislature to come up with more money; but even lawmakers who fully support more money for education, aren't sure if their colleagues will vote for much more.
“At the end of the day, we need more money into the funding formula and we're just going to keep working to find a solution," said Representative Kaie Henke.
There is no specific legislation for new education money at the moment, but as we saw last week, that can quickly change.