State teacher walkout over
The statewide teacher walkout has come to an end after nine days.
The Oklahoma Education Association, which helped spearhead the walkout, called for its conclusion Thursday afternoon. President Alicia Priest claimed victory, citing more than $400 million in new spending on schools and teacher pay raises, along with two new funding measures that will raise more than $50 million for schools. But after nearly two full weeks, the horizon looked bleak.
"We need to face a reality," Priest said. "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."
Lawton Public Schools announced Thursday evening that faculty and staff will return to the classroom today and students will return Monday. The declaration came shortly after 7:30 p.m. around two hours later than previous closure announcements throughout the previous two weeks. The decision to return to school was made despite Thursday's poll numbers, which showed 60.5 percent of teachers would "not report for duties if school is in session" today. Teachers were also required to add their name to their poll choices for the first time since the walkout began.