Broken Arrow Makes Plans For Teacher Walkout

Wednesday, March 21st 2018, 6:48 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Broken Arrow parents are getting ready, along with the school district, for a possible teacher walkout on April 2nd.

The plans include lunches for children and continuing pay for support workers.

Broken Arrow used to pay support workers purely on an hourly basis, but changed to a monthly contract pay schedule.  In the event of a walkout, bus drivers and other support folks will still get paid and they’ll make up the days when the walkout is over.

Broken Arrow school campuses and athletic fields are quiet this week because of Spring Break, but they’ll reopen next week – and possibly close down just one week later.

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Parents are using up some of their ideas for school break activities this week.

Justin Jones says, “I think childcare would be a long-term concern of the walkout.”

Jones says his wife is a former teacher who quit for a better paying job.

“A definite concern is how much into the summertime is that going to cut into and how much of a summer vacation are the children going to get?” said Jones.  “That’s very important to a child.”

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Broken Arrow Public Schools says that if the walkout is short, the adjustment will be easy.

“We have 5 snow days built into the calendar and we haven’t used any of them,” said BAPS spokesperson Charlie Hannema.  “If we’re out 5 days, it’s easy.  We use our contingency calendar and knock those out like snow days, no problem.”

If the walkout lasts longer, they’ll either add days to the end of the year or make each school day longer.

The school district does plan, from Day 1, to provide meals for students.

Hannema says, “in Broken Arrow, we have about half our students on free or reduced lunch and they depend on those meals at school, so we’ve set up a number of sites in the community where they can get those meals if we are out of school, just like we do in the summer.”

If the walkout goes to April 10th, the high school will be open for one day only.  That’s a national testing day for the SAT college entrance exam.  The district will run buses that day and open up the building for that test only.