Oklahoma Charter School Teachers Won't Walkout, But Support Peers
OKLAHOMA CITY - Wednesday was the annual school choice day at the state Capitol; an opportunity for charter schools to talk with lawmakers about non-traditional education.
While charter school teachers are not planning to strike next month, they support their peers who make that decision.
The purpose for school choice day is to highlight the differences between traditional schools and charter schools. For the biggest charter school in the state the difference is clear. Their teachers won’t be walking out over pay April 2, because they’re paid differently.
“I’m insanely blessed where I am. I don’t have to worry about walking out,” said Erin Barnes, a teacher at Epic Charter School.
Epic Charter School serves 14,000 children; most of them through a combination of on-line instruction and occasional meetings with teachers. That means fewer building costs and the ability to shift that savings to teachers.
“We actually are able to put more of our resources toward education even though we get fewer dollars than the statewide average,” said Superintendent David Chaney.
“We give choice in education. We give choice in curriculum. We give choice in where that education comes from. We give choice in electives,” Barnes added.
Epic does have two brick and mortar school buildings, one in Tulsa and one on Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma City school serves about 150 students.
As the potential for a walkout approaches, the Oklahoma City Zoo and several OKC Rec. Centers announced their service to 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.