Union teacher shares how her personal tragedy highlighted unlivable teacher salary

Posted at 8:23 PM, Mar 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-28 19:35:13-04

TULSA - Oklahoma's state legislature only has until the end of the week to meet teachers' demands before school districts around the state shutdown and teachers walkout; one of those teacher's will be Anita Winn. 

"Endings that work."

In class Tuesday Ms. Winn taught her sixth graders how to conclude a persuasive essay. 

"I think we're already doing number one."

She said Oklahoma teachers are already acing this lesson. 

 "Calling our legislators to action, definitely."

But she's worried about what could happen if lawmakers don't take that action by April 1. 

"I think they are saying at this time they don't think that the education is important."

Pictures of her children sit beside her computer; the faces of a family who suffered on their mom's low pay. 

"Yea, it was rough, and it was hard because our whole lifestyle changed really."

Their father died a year ago, and Anita was left to care for them with only her teacher salary. 

"There are days where I have to juggle to pay the PSO bill this month."

She picks up odd jobs in the district. 

"I do three stipend jobs here at the school."

But, while grading hundreds of papers she reads the hundreds of reasons why she really wants to walk out. 

"I think It scares me that our kids are not going to get the funding they need."

The thought brought her to tears at Union's Board of Education meeting. 

"Our state, my state doesn't value our children and their futures," she cried. 

This afternoon she left her classroom hoping that come March 30 when the lights go out she'll be back April 2 to turn them back on.

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