While many Oklahoma schools are still deciding where they stand, Marietta Public Schools has announced they will participate in the April 2 teacher walkout.
The Oklahoma Educators Association started planning a statewide teacher walkout last month in protest of low teacher wages and the state Legislature’s failure to fund a teacher pay raise or increase public education funding. OEA’s proposal calls for raises for school support staff and state employees as well.
Superintendent Chad Broughton said Marietta teachers made the decision and negotiating the terms of the walk-out is new territory for everyone else involved.
“I think we’re the only ones in the county,” Broughton said. “Everyone else is monitoring the situation and seeing what’s going to happen.”
Broughton said the Marietta Classroom Teachers Association, part of the OEA, asked teachers if they supported the walkout through a survey. 90 percent of them agreed. The district will use weather make up days for the first five days of the walkout.
“We have five currently on our calendar we’ve not used,” Broughton said. “After that, we’re going to need to add days and we’ll need to decide on that at that time.”
Teachers won’t be penalized if the walkout runs longer than five days.
“We will make up the time, so they will meet their contract obligations,” Broughton said. “We’re going to support them.”
A walkout means the schools would close. Church groups and the local Boys and Girls Club have volunteered to house students during the school day should the school close.
“We had maybe one single-day walkout in the 90s but here, there’s a lot of uncharted waters,” Broughton said. “If we did stay open, there would only be 10 of us here.”