Teachers in Moore are taking to social media with a video they say they hope earns them respect. They also say they hope it gets them the paycheck they deserve.
“When I talk to them about it, when I talk to them they just look at me and they’re like, ‘I would never do what you do for what you get paid’.”
“Would you lose me? Oklahoma might. Another state might get me. A state that pays more.”
The low pay, the long hours, it’s the way some teachers at Moore schools feel they are being stifled by mandates that require them to gear their teaching towards tests, not learning.
The video called, “Breaking the Silence”, is an attempt to get teachers the respect they say they deserve. But it's also a plea for increased pay in the form of a penny sales tax increase proposed for next year.
According to the National Education Association, starting teachers in Oklahoma make just over $31,600 a year. It’s far below the national average of just over $36,000 per year.
“They still need to be able to make a living. Be able to pay their bills. I don’t think that anyone gets into a profession not expecting to get at least a cost of living,” said Gwendolyn Caldwell, Stand For Children.
“It’s not just about the money. Money is an issue obviously. But there’s been so much placed on teachers. The multiple assessments and the way teachers are evaluated. And the respect, it just doesn’t come with a whole lot of respect anymore,” said Dr. Robert Romines, Moore Public Schools.