Day Three at the Oklahoma State Capitol seemed to end with eventual legislative movement to find more funding for common education. Still, Luther Public Schools will be out Thursday, for the fourth day of the state-wide teacher walk-out.
Late Wednesday, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister made the following remarks after the House of Representatives passed House Bill 1019XX, which creates a new revenue stream dedicated to common education:
“This strong bipartisan vote signals to teachers that their stories have been heard. They deserve to be respected for the work they have done tirelessly for kids with eroded funds over the past decade. This represents positive momentum after last week’s passage of House Bill 1010XX, a landmark piece of legislation which included significant pay increases for all teachers as part of a $480 million funding package.
“Inside the State Capitol, hundreds of educators, families and students erupted in applause as we watched the House vote together. I am so grateful to see widespread grassroots advocacy that benefits kids. I encourage the Senate to pass the bill as soon as possible.”
A large group of Luther teachers, parents and students spent Wednesday at the Capitol, and there’s a call to return on Thursday. Luther School Board President Steve Broudy said it’s a shame the multi-day walkout has come to this but he is focusing on the long-term goal.
“We all need to make sacrifices. Working together is the quickest and most effective way to make it better. I hope the news coverage has opened some eyes to what our educators are facing and trying to accomplish. The teachers are not in class but they are still teaching the public. I hope this movement carries on to next November and Oklahomans hold the legislature accountable,” said Broudy.
Meanwhile, several activities are ongoing at LPS. Superintendent Barry Gunn said that about 50 students each day are coming to the school to eat lunch at 11 am at the elementary cafeteria. Some students took the ACT this morning. Extra-curricular activities are taking place after school hours and include band practice, track and baseball. And Mrs. Drake worked again with our students in Luther FFA who took part and did well at the DJ’s archery shootout in McLoud.