Teacher Reactions To House Tax Bill And Status Of Teacher Walkout

Tuesday, March 27th 2018, 10:30 pm
By: Amy Avery

We are six days away from Oklahoma Education Association’s deadline and many people are wondering if a teacher walkout is going to happen.

The House passed a bill to give teachers a potential pay raise, but the OEA is still wanting more.

3/27/2018  Related Story:  OEA Says Teacher Walkout Still On, Despite Passage Of House Bill

Many districts are continuing to hold meetings to discuss the potential walkout, but a lot is still up in the air.  Many districts are waiting to see what happens in the Senate before they make a decision on whether or not classes will be in session next week.

Bixby 9th grader Sydney Jumper says “it’s more like an everyday conversation.  Like every time I walk into a class, people are talking about it.”

Jumper says she understands why this is happening, but believes a lot of her classmates don’t.

“Some people even hound the teachers about it, but honestly, if they were in their position, they would probably be doing the same thing,” said Jumper.

Several students, parents, and teachers met tonight at Bixby High School to discuss plans for April 2nd, even after the House passes a teacher pay raise bill Monday.

3/27/2018 Related Story:  Educators' Opinions Divided On House Tax Bill

Lydia Wilson, Bixby Interim Superintendent, says, “certainly the House was a surprise…I hope that it helps us move forward in a way that prevents the walkout.”

Jessica Jernegan, Bixby 5th grade teacher, says that “although this is a huge step forward, it still does not address all the things that are needed to avoid a teacher walkout.”

Jernegan has been to the Capitol several times to advocate for her students and says one of the 5th graders even created a petition.

“They don’t want their teachers to have to leave the state,” said Jernegan.

Parents and teachers also met at Ellen Ochoa Elementary School on Tuesday.

Many are supportive of teachers walking out, despite the potential pay raise on the table.

Union parent Megan Trejo says, “I think our teachers deserve more and we are going to stand behind them until they get to that point that they deserve.”

Union parent Margaret Hicks declares that “these people need to be taken care of as well.  Teachers, support staff, they need something and not just a short term plan.”

Though teachers say they don’t want to walk out, they want the best for their students.

Many school districts are telling parents to pay attention to social media and their alerts this weekend because the fate of this walkout could change before Monday.