Oklahoma teachers union ends walkout, cites decreased support

The president of the Oklahoma Education Association announced Thursday that an ongoing teacher strike has ended without some of the key funding demonstrators had been requesting.

“We need to face reality,” said union leader Alicia Priest. “Despite tens of thousands of people filling the Capitol and spilling out onto the grounds of this Capitol for nine days, we have seen no significant legislative movement since last Friday.”

An internal poll among striking teachers indicated that by Thursday roughly 7 in 10 were not convinced the walkout should continue.

Lawmakers agreed to just under $500 million in funding for the upcoming school year, but teachers had asked for significantly more.

Priest placed the blame for the stalemate on GOP legislators in the state.

“Senate Republicans won’t budge an inch on any more revenue for public education,” she said.

Though the walkout is over, Priest said the momentum it launched will continue to advance.

“This fight is not over just because the school bell rings once more and our members walk back into schools,” she said. “We have created a movement and there’s no stopping us now.”

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