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Teachers turn up pressure on lawmakers as deadline approaches to fund education

Posted at 3:59 PM, Mar 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-26 20:07:47-04

TULSA, Okla. — As the pressure heats up for lawmakers to reach a budget for education, many legislators are highlighting the wins from this session.

Members of the house released a list of the eight bills passed in their chamber to address the needs of schools. Educators tell 2 Works for You they have noticed a shift this session.

"They actually feel like they're being included as part of the process this year, so that's new from the previous years," Union Eighth Grade Center teacher Betty Collins said.

According to the state finance act, the legislature is required to present education funding plans to the governor no later than April first. It's happened twice in the past: the year that law was created and leading up to the walkout last year. This session, schools are eager to see a budget and begin hiring.

"If we even added one teacher to the department then our class sizes would be reduced by almost a third. And we really need more counselors. We have two counselors for about 1200 students," Collins said.

After watching things like constitutional carry and medical marijuana pass, teachers said it's their time.

"All of our districts, 480 districts are depending upon this year in and year out. If they really are putting the focus on public education this will be done April first," Union High School teacher Jim Douthat said.

If deadline isn't met, educators are asking for a statewide call to action, like a rally.

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