OEA Changes Demands To End Teacher Walkout
OKLAHOMA CITY - Another demand from the Oklahoma Education Association to end the walkout. This time, OEA says it now wants 25-million dollars. That’s half of what they demanded yesterday, and we are told lawmakers could be close to a deal.
“We’re talking about 25-million dollars that we would need in additional funding.” Said Katherine Bishop with the OEA, “It would meet our ask and that’s what we’ve been saying this whole time.”
Tuesday the OEA wanted 50-million to end the walkout. Wednesday that number is 25-million.
“We just had more accurate numbers last night that we were able to set down and do that comparison.” Bishop said, “ We got actual numbers from the senate that we were able to then compare them to our numbers.”
Teachers say the OEA is leaving them in the dark.
“Honestly OEA is not talking to us.” Said Audrey Stadler with Jenks Middle School, “They don’t have that network in place to be able to speak to the individual districts representatives. And they really should be cause they have all of our names. But they haven’t been talking with us.”
Representative Tess Teague (R) Midwest City is proposing a number of revenue raising bills to bridge that 25-million dollar gap, including one that would consolidate the state’s school superintendents.
“Preliminary numbers looks like if we did that, consolidated 535 superintendents into about 72, it looks like that would be 44-million dollars in savings.” Teague said.
Sources say republicans and democrats are working on a deal to promise teachers 100-million dollars next fiscal year, but there are questions about the legality of a sitting legislators making promises for a future legislature. Still, lawmakers say it’s a move in the right direction.
“I’m more optimistic than I have been in a while so hopefully something develops soon.” Said Representative Eric Proctor (D) Tulsa.
The Oklahoma Education Association has taken out permits to continue the walkout at the capitol next week.