Oklahoma teachers choose April 2 deadline for lawmakers

Oklahoma teachers are drawing a line in the sand when it comes to teacher's pay and school funding. (KTUL)

TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) - Oklahoma teachers are drawing a line in the sand when it comes to teachers' pay and school funding.

The Oklahoma Education Association is calling for a statewide walkout if the legislature doesn't solve the budget problems by April 2. The group moved up the date from late April.

The success of a walkout in West Virginia is making them even more anxious to get results, but members of the Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association won't be satisfied with the five percent raise the teachers got in West Virginia.

TTCA Vice President Shawna Mott-Wright said they'd need 15 percent to match the what they're making.

Mott-Wright said their members are ready to stay out until the legislature finally gets something done.

Veteran Teacher Elyse Smith shared her frustration.

Smith has 11-years of experience and teaches at Mayo Demonstration Academy. She wants a pay raise, but she also wants a better deal for her students.

Smith said, "Last year when we had a huge cut for the state budget cut, I had class sizes go from 20 in fourth and fifth grade to 30."

Smith and her husband, who is a mental health professional, are expecting a child. So, they're worried about creating a new budget for their family and making those numbers to work.

Smith said, "We are really, really having to cut back. We're going to have to make ends meet as best we can and it's a really, really big concern." She said some fellow teachers use half their paychecks for daycare.

"I just can't imagine doing anything else and I don't think he can either," Smith said.

When we visited her class, the lesson was about Ireland and St. Patrick's Day.

Smith doesn't expect a pot of gold at the end of the walkout. She, just like all teachers, wants a decent financial break.

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