Oklahoma Teachers Rally for Education Funding

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Teachers, administrators and students from across Oklahoma rallied at the state capitol building in Oklahoma City to bring attention to years of budget cuts.

The event, sponsored by the Oklahoma Education Coalition, was intended to draw attention to the need for better funding for public education.

According to the Oklahoma Education Association, Oklahoma has made the largest cuts to school funding across the nation. Since 2008, records show state funding for schools has decreased more than $200 million, there are 1,500 fewer teachers and the student population has grown by nearly 40,000 students.

Poteau Schools Superintendent Dr. Don Sjoberg said the Poteau School District has absorbed the funding gap from the state and has not had to cut and programs or services to its students, but that may not be the case if budget cuts continue.

"Some of these things may not continue to be offered in the same quality way we've done in the past, " said Sjoberg. "For instance, our Pre-K program, early childhood programs. We just cannot continue to draw in our general funds in order to maintain those projects because we'll just eventually run out of money."

Oklahoma parents worry that continued cuts to education may have a negative impact on their children's futures.

"If we want a quality workforce in the future, then we better start investing in our kids now," said BJ Barnes, a father of four Poteau Schools students and rally attendee.






  • joesumone

    So, Spring Break for Poteau, and other school districts in OK, was two weeks ago. Why was the rally not held during that week? Ah, yes, couldn’t not have the unions working during their allotted time off. They had to wait until they were back on the clock to take time off and not do their job, the typical union way of operating. This is a prime example of why the state is cutting back on funding, to get the teachers to do what they are supposed to do.

  • joesumone

    Oops, put the wrong word and an extra not in the third sentence. It should read as: Ah, yes, can’t have the unions working during their alloted time off.

  • A volunteer

    So the teachers and kids out of school at most places to attend the ralley at the capitol. Now thats a waster of time and money. Sorry but they don’t deserve any pay increases

  • Doesn't matter no one will read this post anyway.

    And attitudes like those of the people above me are why Oklahoma is struggling in Education.
    1. The schools in my area were closed today, But will remain open on Good Friday so the teachers and students can make up the time lost.
    2. It has nothing to do with “your” money. Again for every teacher and student who chose to attend today from my area, all costs for the trip were covered by local business’s who support the community.

  • Kevin

    How about getting rid of the sports programs and stop spending money on multi million dollar gyms and football fields. It sure is easy to rally for spending someone elses tax dollars. I’d like to know how much money they donated towards education I bet its NONE!!!

  • A volunteer

    Teachers these days are more like baby sitters. they have a pre-approved daily study guide to shove down the students throat and have no cluse about teaching REAL subject matters such as math, reading, history. They only work less than 9 months out of the year. There is spring breaks, fall breaks, Christmas breaks, coffee breaks, rally breaks, sports breaks, deer season breaks, and more. They are still overpaid considering what they do compared to police officers and firefighters. If they aren’t happy with their profession or the money they make, they need to move on and get a real working job.

  • HL

    There seems to be lots of people here, who think we don’t need school teachers. I guess all of you would be ok with your children not getting an education, and getting a job at the chicken plant? Because without teachers, that’s what’s going to happen. And without decent pay and benefits, you’re not going to get good teachers. Oh, that’s right. Most of you think YOU are the only ones who need decent pay and benefits. Right?

  • john

    It makes me very sad to read some of these comments. I know that the teachers I work with and almost all I have ever come in contact with continue to spend their own money to make education happen in their classes. Many work over break and over the summer striving to become better so they can better serve their students. I am sure there is a teacher that has made a great impact on each life who has commented here so please don’t forget that person and what they stood for.

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