Oklahoma teachers fight for increased funding: “We’re doing this for our kids”

Posted at 6:13 AM, Apr 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-04 08:13:49-04

OKLAHOMA CITY — For the second day, thousands of Oklahoma teachers marched at the state capitol. Inside the rotunda, educators, and hundreds of their students demanded an increase in school funding.

On Tuesday, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill giving teacher-support staff, like teachers’ aides and janitors, a $1,250 raise. Last week, she signed a measure that gave teachers a $6,000 pay raise, but only added an additional $50 million to school funding. Teachers were asking for $200 million more.

"Teachers want more," Fallin said. "But it’s kind of like a teenager wanting a better car."

Teachers in Oklahoma are demanding higher pay as well as increased funding./ CBS NEWS

Teachers turned into lobbyists, crowding the hallways and waiting in line to meet with almost every state lawmaker.

Liz Hoggett and her fellow teachers from Norman, Oklahoma, public schools went office to office, leaving notes and letters for legislators, asking for more school funding. They waited more than an hour to meet with their state senator, but he had to leave for a roll call vote. The third generation teacher says she’s frustrated, but doesn’t plan to give up.

"I want him to hear that we are not going anywhere," she said. "We’re doing this for our kids."

Teachers and students plan to return on Wednesday, and some plan to use their sick days to keep protesting.

See also: Protests across nation reflect frustrations of some Montana teachers