Massive teacher protests at the Oklahoma state Capitol have done more than put political pressure on lawmakers: The situation has forced school districts, churches, community organizations and parents to improvise to take care of students.
The state’s largest two school districts will be closed for a ninth consecutive day Thursday, matching the length of a walkout in West Virginia earlier this year that started a rebellion of teachers in some Republican-led states including Kentucky and Arizona.
Oklahoma Republican Gov. Mary Fallin approved teacher pay raises of about $6,100, but many educators say that’s not enough because classrooms still need more money.
Teachers’ union leaders have not indicted when they expect demonstrations to end, but the number of protesters has dwindled, and Republican legislative leaders say they don’t plan to consider more bills to raise more revenue.