TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — A public school teacher in Stillwater created the Facebook group "Oklahoma Teacher Walkout – The Time is Now!" two days ago, and it has already gained more than 20,000 members.
The group's creator, Alberto Morejon, set up the social media group as an online forum for educators to rally together to discuss options for coordinating a walkout of Oklahoma educators.
The Facebook group's collective goal is to gain the support of superintendents throughout the state along with the District School Board's support.
Members say the support would be recognized by a statewide suspension of classes to eliminate the need for independent walkout as a last resort.
Oklahoma Teacher Walkout is an independent group dedicated to organizing a salary increase for teachers within the state of Oklahoma.
The nonprofit Begging for Education says Oklahoma teachers are ranked 50th in the nation on teacher pay. The state starting salary for educators is $31,6000 with the maximum pay at the Doctorate level and 25 years of service being $46,000.
"Without a salary increase for educators in Oklahoma, Oklahoma is losing teachers to our neighboring states at an alarming rate," the nonprofit said. "Combined with educators leaving the profession and the abysmal influx of graduating educators entering Oklahoma education. Oklahoma can no longer afford the luxury of ignoring the problem. Our teachers need a raise. Our teachers need respect. Our classrooms need appropriate funding."