Oklahoma Education Association/Twitter
Teachers in Oklahoma rally in state capital for better resources.

Teachers in Oklahoma and Kentucky rally for more support for education

April 2, 2018
Many schools throughout the two states closed Monday as teachers headed to their state capitals to seek more education funding.

All public schools in Kentucky and many in Oklahoma were closed on Monday as thousands of teachers walked out to strike for better wages and resources.

NBC News reports that about 30,000 people were expected to gather at the Oklahoma state Capitol in Oklahoma City to demand lawmakers approve more education funding days after the state Legislature approved educators' first pay raise in 10 years.

Several educators at the Oklahoma rally say their greatest concern is more funding for their schools.

One teacher held a sign that simply read, "5,655" — the amount of money she'd raised over the last two years for basic supplies for her students.

Jason Simeroth, the superintendent for Canadian County's Yukon public schools, says in his district alone it would cost $1 million to replace all of the outdated math textbooks.

"I think one of the things when people see this they say, 'The teachers got a raise.' They did. It's first one in long time, but they’re not just here for that," Simeroth says. "They’re here for resources, here for desks. ... We haven’t had an operational increase since I’ve been doing this, and I’ve been doing this 27, 28 years."

National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García, who attended the Oklahoma rally, says educators are tired of 20-year-old text books held together by duct tape and are saying "enough is enough."

"This wasn’t caused by a natural disaster. This is a man-made crisis," she says.

In Kentucky, thousands of teachers rallied at the state Capitol in Frankfort.

WSAZ-TV reports that the Kentucky Education Association called for the rally in protest of Senate Bill 151, which was originally filed as a wastewater services bill, but was changed last week with little notice into a pension reform bill and passed both House and Senate.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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