Local businesses are joining a new movement to provide discounts to educators. The website OklahomansForTeachers.com launched this year in response to the debate over teacher pay.
Sky Zone Edmond is one of the first businesses in the Oklahoma City area to join Oklahomans for Teachers, which started in Tulsa. The offers range from fun activities to food and more, all in an effort to make teachers' lives a little bit easier.
Mary Kate Murphy should be on summer break right now. Instead, the 7th grade science teacher is overseeing summer camp projects. Despite the extra income she earns during the year working after school programs, it is barely enough to pay the bills.
“Teachers are just like anyone else,” says Murphy. “We like to get out and do stuff, but a paycheck shouldn’t really be holding us back as much as it currently is.”
Murphy got involved with Oklahomans for Teachers two weeks ago after visiting a business that only offered discounts to other types of public servants.
“They told me that the public service discount was only for police, fire and first responders,” says Murphy, “and that’s when I started to think about why exactly teachers weren’t included in public service discounts.”
Looking at the long list of Tulsa supporters already on the website, Murphy sought out local companies with like minds. Sky Zone Edmond was quick to join, offering half-price jumps for teachers and up to three guests daily this summer.
“Maybe if everybody starts doing it, in addition to whatever actual savings the teachers are getting, it’s also a sign of appreciation,” says Sky Zone Edmond general manager Ed Kleese.
Kleese says his kids have loved their public school teachers over the years, and he would hate to lose them to another state.
“It’s a little scary to think that they might decide they want to bolt because of what’s going on,” says Kleese, “and eventually obviously it’s a numbers game. If enough leave then we have a bigger problem than we have now.”
Murphy also hopes to see businesses offer teacher discounts for big ticket items like apartments and cars. She is also seeking a partnership with a graphic artist to help design a sign or poster for businesses to display showing they are part of OklahomansForTeachers.com.
To register your company, click the Contact page on OklahomansForTeachers.com.