Fourth grader writes her own letter to lawmakers about teacher pay

Posted at 11:21 PM, Feb 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-20 00:27:58-05

The teacher shortage and low pay is so bad even a 10-year-old can tell you about it.

Laney Daniels, just a fourth grader in Bartlesville, decided to make her own homework assignment, writing a letter to lawmakers at the State Capitol.

“You’re in the spot because you got a good education because of the teachers. If you hadn’t had an education you wouldn’t have a job,” said Daniels.

Just in Bartlesville, the district has 12 teachers hired on through emergency certifications.

The superintendent put it bluntly, they’ve hired teachers they wouldn't have interviewed years ago because of the pay crisis.

Now students are the ones speaking out at board meetings.

“We should give our teachers a pay raise because they haven’t had a pay raise in over 10 years. Remember, I’m the student and I’m having to stand up for my teachers when they should have been heard at first,” said Brock Gonzales, a Madison Middle School Student,”

It’s only in the discussion phase, but the district might do what it did in 1990, suspend classes to send a message to lawmakers.

The district was closed for 5 days.

“If it means we need to close down school and we come down to make sure they do their job that’s what we’re willing to do and I feel like our board is the board that can lead the state in that area,” said Heather Davis, a Bartlesville teacher.

Because in the end, kids say it about their future.

”I want my kids to have a good education. I want my mom to get paid more. I want Mrs. Lavery to get paid more. Think about this. No raise. No teachers. No leaders. If I want to be a leader. I want to make changes. Please consider that. Consider the teacher’s kids and family. Sincerely, Laney Kate Daniels, Bartlesville, Oklahoma,” said Daniels.

Bartlesville district officials said it will hold another discussion with the community next Wednesday.




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