Oklahoma

Guymon Public School Teachers Vote to Walkout

GUYMON, Okla. - Next Tuesday, Guymon schools may not be in session.

After a historic raise is approved by the Oklahoma House and Senate, nearly  200 teachers across the district gathered to discuss their next plan of action.

More than half of them voted in favor of a walkout.

Although Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin said the passing of the revenue package is the largest pay raise for teachers in the state, at $6,100, educators said it is not about the money.

During a private meeting, resounding applause echoed behind closed doors of the Guymon High School Auditorium as 146 teachers voted to walk out next week.

Guymon Public School Teachers Staging Walkout in Support of Education Funding

"... 43 voted to stay. So it was an overwhelming amount of people who still want to participate in this walkout. Which is significant for a small western town in Oklahoma," said Jimmy Acevedo, Director of Alternative Education for Guymon Public Schools.

They got a financial boost through House Bill 1010XX.

"West Virginia had a big teacher strike, gave a 5% raise," said Governor Fallin. "We gave a 15+ and 18+ to our teachers in Oklahoma. So, that is a remarkable historic figure for our state and I think that's something we should all be very proud of."

But Guymon teachers said it was not the amount they wanted.

"The original asking was that $200 million be restored back to funding for the education for the kids, and the $50 million is what they voted on and that's not enough. 25% of what we have lost is not enough. We've had a 28% cut, and that's just not enough," said Guymon High School Teacher Jackie Yell.

"These teachers, we are in the trenches. We are in the day to day involvement with these kids and we also know how far we've gone without that funding," said Acevedo.

If the school is closed in Guymon, officials told us buses will continue to run and the cafeteria will remain open.

Although the official statewide walkout for Oklahoma is set for Monday, Guymon teachers have Monday off. 

They plan to head to the state capital that day, alongside other teachers demanding for that change.

The last time there was a walkout for the district was in 1990.

After this vote, it's now up to the Guymon superintendent to decide whether to close all the schools during Tuesday's walkout.

Yell said the decision is expected to be announced Monday at 4 p.m.


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