Why We All Benefit from Teachers Walking Out

On Monday, April 2nd, teachers across Oklahoma held a walkout in protest of the lack of funding to public schools.  While the Oklahoma legislature recently passed a tax increase for the first time in nearly 30 years, it wasn’t enough to stop the walkout.  The increase didn’t account for other faculty members like the support staff of the schools.

 The walkout is about much more than a pay raise for teachers. The public school budget in Oklahoma is extremely low, which explains why Oklahoma ranks so poorly in education.  It has been proven that better funding leads to better student performance.  Oklahoma ranked 47th in the nation on overall performance in Education’s Week’s annual rankings.   The National Education Association found that Oklahoma teachers are paid less than nearly every state, only barely beating South Dakota and Mississippi. 

With the little funding Oklahoma schools receive, the students have a much harder time getting a quality education.  Many schools are faced with making cuts to their programs like having shortened school weeks, emergency certified teachers, and not purchasing new supplies (or textbooks) for their students. A tweet by Scott Heins with an image from the Facebook group The Time Is Now illustrates how much public schools need a boost in funding.

While an increase in taxes may seem like a bad thing for people who aren’t directly involved with the school system, it’s clear that everyone is affected by future generations not receiving a quality education.   Investing in our schools is investing in our students and investing in our students is investing in our future.