Teachers, Legislators Talk At Moore Town Hall
MOORE, Oklahoma - It’s been a busy week in and out of the Capitol for teacher Gary Siebert, but he wasn’t about to take the weekend off.
“I’m out here because I want to be better informed and I want to be engaged,” said Siebert, who teaches at Bridgestone Intermediate.
Siebert is one of several teachers and parents who attended a town hall in Moore Saturday, with two statehouse representatives – Jon Nichols and Mark McBride.
“After hearing the questions that were answered today, I do have that hope that we are moving forward,” Siebert said.
Rep. Echols says he felt the meeting was productive.
He’s faced question from teachers all week, but the town hall was more intimate than the walkout.
“I think it's the job of a representative to be in the community talking to his people. That's where I get my best ideas,” Echols said.
Ideas discussed included alternative revenue measures that would satisfy everyone.
During the walkout Friday, the Oklahoma Education Association said it needs capital gains and a veto of the hotel motel tax repeal.
“I think both of those things are unlikely to happen,” Echols said.
However, Echols says he’s still optimistic that legislators and the OEA will find common ground.
Zach Grimm, the Moore Education Association President, who put on the town hall, is also in good spirits.
“I'm very proud that our teachers were able to hear from Rep. Echols about capital gains and not have a big fight over the issue,” Grimm said.
Heading into Monday with a little more clarity, Siebert says this town hall was a step in the right direction.
“We'll stay in as long as it takes. Realize our heart is in our classroom with our kids. That's where we want to be,” Siebert said.