Educators in Oklahoma are making it clear they aren’t giving up in their fight for increased public school funding.
On Wednesday, more than 100 people set out from Webster High School in Tulsa on a seven-day trek to the state Capitol in Oklahoma City to demand bigger education budgets.
“We are willing to walk 100 miles for our students,” Patti Ferguson-Palmer, president of the Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association, told The Tulsa World. “What is the Oklahoma Legislature willing to do? We are not all young and fit.”
Wednesday marked the third day straight that Oklahoma teachers and their supporters have protested years of deep cuts and salary slashes for educators.
On Monday, teachers across the state staged a massive revolt when they walked out of schools, with many swarming the Capitol building in Oklahoma City.
“Why are we walking?” Alicia Priest, Oklahoma Education Association president, asked on Monday. “There are 700,000 reasons why: our students. And they deserve better. … They see broken chairs in class, outdated textbooks that are duct-taped together, and class sizes that have ballooned.”
Thousands of teachers were off the job again on Tuesday, with many school districts announcing they would remain shut down for at least the rest of the week.
“Oklahoma is better than this, and educators will continue to walk out until we get a deal that our students deserve,” Priest said.
Meanwhile, Republican Gov. Mary Fallin compared teachers wanting better resources to “a teenager wanting a better car.”