Oklahoma Parents Join Together to Advocate for Kids’ Education
Just weeks before the legislative session begins, some Green Country parents are joining their voices to fight for their children's education.
They are forming a statewide coalition to help advocate for more education funding.
Today several parent-teacher groups from across the state went to the capitol to announce that they were Creating the Oklahoma Parent Legislative Action Committee.
They say they are doing this so they can continue to help make education a top priority this session.
“With 28 kids it can get a little bit difficult to give each kid everything they need,” said Katie Cooper.
West Elementary School Teacher Katie Cooper says the Jenks school district works to make sure teachers have all of the resources they need, however, sometimes it's difficult to make sure every student is getting the attention he or she deserves when the ratio is 28 to 1.
“Our principals are super hands on and make sure that we have the resources to give every student what they need but it takes a lot of planning to make sure were doing what we need to do to help meet the needs of our students,” said Cooper. “It’s a lot of juggling trying to figure out how to do what to make sure every student gets every lesson."
Jenks Public Schools is continuing to expand every year and as the class sizes go up, more teachers are needed.
That's one of the many reasons that parent groups from Jenks and many other districts across the state decided to create the Oklahoma Parent Legislative Action Committee.
"We really need parents to engage and make sure that continues and that we have an investment in the resources for classrooms and reduce our class sizes," said Jenks parent, Melissa Abdo.
Abdo says many parents are starting to talk with their lawmakers to help them see the problems their kids are facing in the classroom everyday.
“More and more parents are willing to go to the Capitol and are willing to reach out to have conversations with their lawmakers,” said Abdo. “They are sending emails saying this is really important to me and so we just keep seeing this type of advocacy grow.”
Abdo says the legislature took some big steps last year with the teacher pay raise. But hopes more can be done to address the problems educators continue to see every day.
"We really have to continue making that investment and continue to change the narrative about what public education is in Oklahoma," said Abdo.
Because keeping the conversation going could make a big difference in the classroom.
“When I think about what I could do with my class if I had 25 kids or 20 kids and how much time I would be able to spend with each kid individually, I mean that would be the goal," said Cooper.
For more information: https://okplac.org/