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Tulsa Public Schools Announce Plan To Join OEA Teacher Strike

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Deborah Gist announced a plan to support a teacher walkout if state lawmakers do not pass a plan to increase teacher pay and funding by April 1.

The state's second-largest school district made the announcement on social media, Sunday. If the state legislature does not pass a plan, Superintendent Gist says, "every school in the district will be closed indefinitely until Oklahoma state leaders create a permanent sustainable plan to pay educators the professional salaries they deserve."

Gist writes, "Beginning on March 12, we will support our teachers in a "work the contract" effort that will continue through the end of the month. This means that our teachers will work only the seven hours and fifty minutes per day required by contract instead of working late into the evening and during the weekend. This will be extraordinarily difficult for our teachers." 

The Oklahoma Education Association (OEA) says without an increase in education funding, teachers will be walking the picket line come April.

The OEA is asking lawmakers for a $10,000 raise for certified teachers over three years, including $5,000 in 2019, and a $5,000 raise for support personnel and restoration of education funding. 

The Oklahoma Public Employee Association announced their support for a state employee walk out, Saturday. 

03/10/2018 Related Story: State Workers Vote To Strike Alongside Teachers If They Don’t Get Raises

As the potential for a walkout approaches, the Oklahoma City Zoo and several OKC Rec. Centers announced their service to Oklahoma City students who will need a place to go. The Zoo will host several all-day camps on weekdays in April in the event of a walkout. Camps will be offered for students ages 4-11 from 8:30-5:15 p.m. for $45 per day. 

Nine recreation centers in Oklahoma City will also open for school children from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. weekdays. Access to the recreation centers is free.

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