Teachers rally at Memorial High School for walkout

Teachers are ready to let lawmakers know they're not done fighting for education funding. (Wilson/KTUL)

Teachers rallied for the statewide walkout at Memorial High School Thursday night after Gov. Mary Fallin signed the revenue package for education funding into law.

There were various messages at the rally with one universal theme: the battle for education funding is far from over.

"We can get a better deal," said librarian Debbie Kerr.

"It's been ten long years. It is time to fully fund education, and to make sure it stays funded," said Memorial high school teacher Melissa Martin.

As for the funding package signed by the governor, "I think in a way it was encouraging that they finally got something done. I think it was also discouraging that it took that long," said Kerr.

Many teachers stressed they would be part of the walkout no matter what and will stay out for as long as it takes.

"Everybody should take a deep breath. This is a great first step, but now what's going to be the step tomorrow?" said former Tulsa mayor Dewey Bartlett, offering a word of caution.

Some are concerned the public tide is going to turn against them.

"That's the risk they run. That's the risk they run, it really is," Bartlett said.

However, Rep. Monroe Nichols stresses now is the time to push for more.

"There's a significant amount of places to find revenue," said Nichols. "There's a significant amount of money left on the table. I mean, we have a hundred and some odd million in capital gains that the House hasn't acted on."

The topsy-turvy road to walk out, with political potholes from here to Oklahoma City, will be full of determined teachers and supporters.

"Here's what I feel like right now, you know how in the old days they had a carrot in front of the horse that was racing? I feel like I'm the horse, and I'm chasing the carrot, and they're going to pull the carrot away from me and not let me have it at the finish line," said one teacher.

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