-Professional Oklahoma Educators: “Our Students Need Their Teachers”

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Not all teachers are participating in the illegal Oklahoma strike, just as not all teachers went on strike in West Virginia.  Ginger Tinney, Executive Director of Professional Oklahoma Educators, the largest Nonunion professional educator group in Oklahoma, takes a stand against the illegal strike currently in its fourth day.  The AP article appears on 7 News WHDH.

Now these teachers face a tough question as the walkout threatens to keep many schools closed for the rest of the week: Do they risk losing public support for their efforts, especially after lawmakers handed them much of what they asked for?

Still, some question why teachers are continuing to stay off the job after lawmakers approved new money for schools and raises.

 

Even within the teachers’ own ranks, there are divisions.

Ginger Tinney, the executive director of the Professional Oklahoma Educators, which represents about 12,000 teachers, said she believes public support for teachers will wane if schools remain closed.

“Our students need their teachers,” Tinney said. “I think the public is with us, but it could erode the longer it goes.”

Many teachers already are back at work, especially in rural communities where local boards didn’t vote to shut down. Still, schools in the state’s largest districts remain shuttered, including Oklahoma City, Tulsa and many suburban communities. Thousands have thronged the Capitol for three straight days seeking more money for the classrooms.

Rep. Earl Sears, a Republican from Bartlesville and a retired school administrator, said he voted for the tax hike and supports teachers’ efforts, but acknowledged they run the risk of losing public support the longer that schools remain closed.

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