Oklahoma teacher walkout ends
Posted April 12, 2018 5:38 p.m. EDT
(CNN) — The Oklahoma teacher walkout is ending after nine days, Oklahoma Education Association President Alicia Priest said Thursday.
After getting $479 million in funding for the next school year, the OEA decided to end the walkout, Priest said in a news conference, though the funding falls short of what they'd hoped to achieve.
"We need to face reality," Priest told reporters. "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."
Priest said the OEA had been in negotiations with lawmakers in both the Oklahoma House and Senate, but it became clear that "Senate Republicans won't budge an inch on any more revenue for public education."
The OEA had been polling its members throughout the walkout, and Priest said that by Thursday, 70% of respondents indicated they were unsure of continuing the walkout.
"This fight is not over just because the school bell rings once more and our members walk back into schools," Priest said in a statement. "We have created a movement and there's no stopping us now."
Efforts to obtain more educational funding will continue away from the Capitol, Priest said. The OEA will be supporting its members and candidates who are running for office against those who opposed funding Oklahoma's schools.
Developing story - more to come