Teachers' union claim that 95 percent of funding secured causing controversy

Teachers' union claim that 95 percent of funding secured causing controversy (KTUL)

For the first year of the teacher union's three-year demand, their asking amount was just over $800 million, or so most people thought.

"It says 95 percent of 'ask' secured and reoccurring, which is complete crap," said Teresa Danks, aka the Panhandling Teacher, upset with a spreadsheet put out by the union which says that the $479 million that been secured so far represents 95 percent of "the ask," the amount of money demonstrators demanded.

"Well, OEA changes the number today. They dropped $300 million of the original ask, came up with a new ask," Danks said.

RELATED I Oklahoma Education Association says it won't back down from demands

As with most things, the devil is in the details. The flyer says "Where we are on education funding?" not healthcare and state employee pay, which make up the other $300 million of the initial ask. But for some, that's splitting hairs.

"If they are going to tell us that this is the ask now, that's a flat out lie," said Danks. "Legislators aren't doing what we've asked and now OEA is caving."

"Trust me, we are not giving up," said OEA president Alicia Priest, posting a daily Facebook update assuring members that the fight continues.

"We continue to search all avenues and are working tirelessly on behalf of our members and Oklahoma students," Priest said.

A movement at a crossroads with no clear path forward to additional funding and the success achieved so far not being nearly enough for many.

"This raise does not help us recruit teachers. It will not help us retain teachers, and we have a whole lot of teachers that are about to retire. This crisis is going to become a tragedy very quickly. So, I guess we can all go back to school and be proud of that," said Danks.

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