OEA Kicks Off 'Week Of Advocacy' On Deadline To Pass Education Budget

Monday, April 1st 2019, 5:40 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

Tuesday, April 2, marks the one-year anniversary of the teacher walkout, but teachers say they have not stopped fighting for more funding in the classroom. OEA has designated this week a ‘Week of Advocacy’. 

Teachers from Putnam City held signs on the busy corner of Meridian and Northwest Expressway Monday evening.

Lawmakers legally have until April 1 to pass an education budget. But that will not happen.

Related Story: State Lawmakers Won’t Make Education Funding Deadline

Before this legislative session even began, the OEA laid out its agenda which included additional raises for teachers and support personnel, and $150 million more for the classroom.

Although lawmakers won't make their deadline, OEA President Alicia Priest says they are hearing there is movement toward an increase in education funding.

“We need some positive action,” said Priest Monday. “Our kids are counting on it; our kids deserve better.”

“We’re going to get a deal done, it’s going to be a decent deal,” said Mark McBride (R) HD 53.  

Representative Mark McBride heads up the House Education Budget Committee. McBride says he will be meeting with his Senate counterpart this week to work on hammering out a deal.

“We’re not that far apart,” said McBride. “I think the biggest thing between the House and the Senate currently would be the teacher pay raise.”

Governor Stitt has called for a $1,200 teacher raise that already passed the House, but Senators have not voted on it.

 McBride says he expects to see an increase in classroom appropriations as well.

“We do need to get a certain amount of money into the classroom, but I think we have the money to do that,” said McBride.

OEA says they will be wrapping up their week of advocacy by inviting lawmakers into the schools on Friday.