Teachers still optimistic for education funding solution
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) —
Things aren't looking optimistic yet in the Capitol. Aside from a few legislators, some teachers feel like their message isn't being truly heard yet.
"I would like to be more optimistic right now, but a lot of what I have heard from the politicians is that they are not in support of us. They want to see if we are really going to hold out for the next week or however long it takes," said Mayo Demonstration School teacher Elyse Smith.
The teachers saw Gov. Fallin's statement from Monday as a disappointment. The governor said, in part, "Just like Oklahoma families, we are only able to do what our budget allows," and said the legislature can't neglect other needs like health and corrections while looking for an education funding solution.
That doesn't sound promising for teachers.
"I think that they are waiting us out. They think we are just going to go away and go back to our jobs, especially when parents start getting disgruntled about being off work or finding care. It's not an inconvenience, that's not our goal. Our goal is to make sure everyone understands what we need," said Lanier School teacher Jana Simmons.
As teachers wait for lawmakers to come around, passersby at this morning's protest in Tulsa were more than supportive.
"That's what it feels like. I know every parent I've interacted with in school. I do morning cross duty; they come out and say, 'We support you.' It's uplifting to hear that, but disheartening to hear what's coming from the Capitol," said Smith.
"I think they will try and span it out to however long, but I think when they get tired of seeing the teachers out there and not working with the state testing that's getting ready to happen, they'll say, 'OK, we'll give you what you want now,'" said Thorough Demonstration Academy student Carly Walton.
The teachers believe it's simply a matter of when, not if.