OKLAHOMA TEACHER WALKOUT
Oklahoma City, OK—APRIl 13, 2018
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA.—On Monday, April 2, thousands of teachers, students, parents, support staff and concerned citizens gathered at the Oklahoma State Capitol to demand increased funding for schools and better wages for educators. School districts were closed across the state. The Oklahoma Education Association, who called for the walkout, estimated that 25,000 to 30,000 people gathered at the Capitol for the first day of demonstrations at the Capitol.
They continued to show up in droves each day, in cold, heat and rain, persistently requesting action from legislators.
Finally, on April 12, after 9 days of protesting at the Capitol, the Oklahoma Education Association declared an end to the walkout, instructing teachers to return to their classrooms and focus their energy on supporting pro-education candidates in the fall elections.
Though some legislative action was taken during the 9-day period, educators were unable to secure all of their initial demands. The bulk of extra education spending came from the legislation that passed directly before the walkout began, legislation that gave teachers a pay increase of about $6000 and members of the schools' support staff a raise of $1250.
Many teachers felt that the walkout was ended prematurely and should have continued until additional funding had been won.
Oklahoma Education Association President Alicia Priest, however, said the event was a victory for teachers.
"We have created a movement, and there's no stopping us now," Priest told CNN. "This fight is not over just because the school bell rings once more and our members walk back into schools."