NORMAN, Oklahoma - An OU professor's research from 2017 now has a renewed relevance as the teaches advocate for education funding.

The data from Dr. Theresa Cullen's study tells the stories of more than 200 teachers who started their careers in Oklahoma and went to teach in another state.

Their answers last year cited finances, not feeling respected, the political climate and hopelessness for leaving.

Most did not regret their decision to go, according to her study. But around 30 percent said they would be interested in returning, if education was fixed.

“What’s going on right now at the Capitol could really bring back some of these teachers, especially those that had left in the last few years,” Dr. Cullen said.

But that's not all Dr. Cullen believes is riding on the end result of the teacher walkout.

She's hopeful it will keep the students trained in our state here past graduation, be the difference for those currently on the fence, and those who felt they were forced to leave will come home.

“I think what happens this year is going to decide the future of Oklahoma education for a very long time,” she told News 9.

Dr. Cullen plans to launch another survey at the beginning of the next school year to examine the differences.