Oklahoma teachers consider walkout if petition fails to capture lawmakers' attention

TULSA, Okla. — Frustrated Oklahoma teachers say they are considering a walkout if a petition that is now circulating fails to get the attention of lawmakers.

Teresa Danks, the panhandling teacher FOX23 introduced to you last summer, is behind the petition, which had nearly 3,000 signatures by Monday night.

When the Step Up plan, a legislative move that would have given teachers a $5,000 raise, failed last week Danks said she realized that the she needed to do something.

The petition, titled "Mary Fallin: Oklahoma Teacher Walkout?" was posted on a Facebook page called "Begging for Education" with the hashtag "#LastResortOK."

Danks told FOX23 that she is trying to unite everyone in the state who wants more money for education, because she believes there is power in numbers.

Danks plans to take her petition to Governor Mary Fallin, and if that doesn’t work, she said she truly feels like a statewide teacher walkout could be in store in order to make it known that teachers need more money.

The Oklahoma Education Association led a school shutdown in 1990, and teachers picketed the capitol looking for a pay raise at that time. Soon after, lawmakers raised taxes and gave them the pay raise.

Danks said the education association has nothing planned for now, but she said that they are considering possible options for the future.

A spokesperson said the Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association said that though the 1990 did appear to get results for educators, there is not a legislative effort on the table at this time like there was 30 years ago. The spokesperson then said she hopes the legislature will fix the problem themselves.

You can see more about the petition on the Change.org website.

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