While the state Legislature focused on issues other than education in recent days, new developments have demonstrating teachers on their guard.
State Representatives Sean Roberts and Tess Teague filed six house bills on Tuesday that would impact education. House Bill 1043xx calls for a performance audit of the State Department of Education, House Bill 1044xx calls for the Commission of the Land Office to provide teachers with an annual $500 stipend for classroom supplies, House Bill 1045xx caps superintendents’ salaries to that of the governor and House Bill 1046xx would consolidate superintendent positions in every county except Oklahoma and Tulsa Counties. House Bill 1047xx requires the state superintendent to have a five-year rolling plan for improving education in Oklahoma and House Bill 1048xx would allocate $15 million in lottery funding for textbooks and curriculum technology.  
Ardmore Educators Association President Amanda Cramer said while some of the bills seem reasonable, others seem to miss the point entirely.
“At this point we’re not sure what to think,” Cramer said. “They’re saying it’s what their constituents and teachers have been asking for, but you look at some of it and you wonder what teacher asked for this?”
Ardmore City Schools has been sending teacher delegates to the state Capitol daily since the walkout began last week, but dialed back their numbers after Monday, which Cramer said was one of the busiest days yet. She said while the outpouring of support was inspiring, meeting with legislators was nearly impossible.
“We haven’t had a chance to follow up or talk to our representatives,” Cramer said. “So this was a shock today. I agree there has to be accountability, but it needs to start at the top. All of it, not just one department.”
Oklahoma Taxpayers Unite started a petition to put the tax increases in House Bill 1010xx and followup legislation to a vote in November. If the state question makes it onto the ballot, the teacher pay raise initiative and its funding could be killed altogether. Even if Oklahomans vote in favor of the new taxes, the election would delay the raises and funding until 2019, a year later than originally planned.
Cramer said if the tax hikes are put to a vote it would have consequences either way.
“We’re looking at possibly not getting anything done until November,” Cramer said. “We’d have a mass exodus by August. And if there’s no money for the pay raises, there’s going to be a complete breakdown.”
She said the uncertain situation is driving educators to continue the walkout, as the possibility of the teacher pay raise going unfunded or being killed altogether looms.
“We all felt like we were headed in a better direction, but then this all came up,” Cramer said.