Oklahoma Teachers End Nearly Two-Week Strike


After almost two weeks of strikes, Oklahoma Education Association President Alicia Priest called for an end to the walkout.

So when April 2 rolled around, school districts across the state closed as teachers marched to the state capitol to lobby for additional funding.

Alicia Priest, president of the Oklahoma Education Association, called the strike "a victory for teachers" at a news conference.

DeSoto County School District also released a statement after the incident that said, "The substitute in question will no longer be allowed to provide services in any of the Desoto County Schools".

But McCall is "making decisions that affect our lives", she said. And as several school districts announced they would reopen either Friday or Monday, some teachers said they would ignore the OEA's message and continue the walkout.

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Oklahoma lawmakers say they're looking for a way to end the now nine-day teacher walkout, but are getting mixed messages about what it will take.

Although the walkout is over, some Oklahoma teachers have been inspired and have taken it upon themselves to run for state House and Senate seats. The governor also signed a bill to raise education funding by $50 million over the next fiscal year.

"We are proud of what we have accomplished, but truthfully there's no one left to negotiate with in the statehouse", said Ed Allen, president of the Oklahoma City American Federation of Teachers.

When asked why he thought it was OK to let students fight in his class, Fish said: "I didn't think it was OK".

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"We need to face reality", Priest told reporters.

Like its predecessor and partial inspiration, the nine-day teachers' strike in West Virginia, a nine-day teachers' walkout in Oklahoma is ending with some tangible results: a pay increase of roughly $6,000 (with a smaller pay hike for support staff), and some new revenues meant to make higher school funding possible in the immediate future.

"Those lawmakers are refusing to cross the finish line", Priest said.

Atkinson said Stillwater teachers have 110 percent support from the community.

Priest, however, maintained that the group's members are "ready to return to the classroom".

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Rodriguez, who said she makes around $30,000 in her third year of teaching, also wants to see more funding for supplies, which teachers often have to buy or share. "We demand action against the teacher who beat the child".