'Work To Contract' Causes Several Student Events To Be Canceled

Wednesday, March 14th 2018, 10:12 pm
By: Amy Avery

As more teachers continue to stick to their contracts, extracurricular events are starting to be canceled.

A popular Tulsa Public Schools district-wide music festival was supposed to happen the week after Spring Break.  Now, it’s not happening at all.

Students at Kendall-Whittier say they’ve been practicing for months for this concert, which brings together students from 18 different schools across the district.

Fifth grader Brianna Rodriguez is in Mrs. Wyble’s music class.  She was selected to be a part of TPS’s Elementary Music Festival that was planned for the end of the month.

“I was really sad and mad, because we’ve been working so hard learning these songs,” said Rodriguez.  “But it’s going to get canceled and we can’t do that.”

3/12/2018 Related Story:  'Work To Contract' Protest Will Not Affect TPS Sports Programs

Teachers across the district, who dedicated hundreds of hours of their own time to put this festival together, decided to cancel it because it wasn’t a part of their contract.

3/12/2018 Related Story:  TPS 'Work To Contract' Protest Hopes To Put Pressure On State Legislature

Rhonda Wyble, a music teacher at Kendall-Whittier, says “we decided that’s not supporting the initiative that is trying to get the legislature’s attention.”

Many teachers have been sticking to their contracts, meaning they are only working for the 7 hours and 50 minutes allotted in their day, and no more.

3/12/2018 Related Story:  Edison Teacher Planning Concert To Raise Awareness

Wyble says “teachers are willing to do whatever we need to do to help our state understand what funding our schools need.”

Wyble has been teaching at Kendall-Whittier for 20 years and says the large class sizes are difficult to deal with.

“There are so many things that they have cut from our funding for the last 6, 7 years,” stated Wyble.  “We need more.  Our kids need more.”

This concert is just one of several events that is being canceled because of the ‘work to contract’ movement.

Teachers hope that they will get lawmakers’ attention so a walkout won’t be necessary.