Arizona might be the next state to see a teachers strike. The momentum at the Capitol on Tuesday suggested teachers were game for a prolonged walkout until lawmakers passed a package they would accept.
The protest follows a successful two-week job action by West Virginia teachers that led lawmakers last month to vote to raise their pay, and comes as teachers in Kentucky and Arizona plan other labour actions to demonstrate against years of stagnant or reduced budgets by Republican-controlled legislatures.
Arizona teachers are also calling for pay increases.
Mary Fallin, R, is under siege after she compared striking teachers converging on the state Capitol to rally for education funding to "a teenage kid that wants a better vehicle".
"We're not interested in a better vehicle", said Jami Beshear, a middle school special education teacher in Oklahoma City.
Organizers say they plan to give a voice to the moral aspects of the issue in order to move the conversation about education funding past a fiscal-only focus.
Oklahoma teachers extended their strike on Tuesday to a second day, maintaining that an average annual pay boost of $6,100 under legislation signed by Gov. Mary Fallin is not enough. Thousands of teachers and supporters surrounded the Capitol on Monday. "And that's why we're here today".
In a rousing video on Facebook, Alicia Priest, president of the Oklahoma Education Association, said the government needs to do more to "invest in our classrooms" and "undo a decade of neglect" of both teachers and students. As a 9-year-old, it was a powerful lesson in civics for young Williams.
"What we're trying to do is not do anything that would hurt the children's education during the day", he said. "And the fact we've had 28 percent cuts over the last ten years is why we're in this awful hole". Now is the opportunity. "We need to make sure that they can not ignore us". Large holes in the center of each floor allow anyone standing on the fourth floor to peer down to the first. She stressed the rally and walk-in are not protests, rather they are opportunities to encourage lawmakers and educators to work together.
Lindenberger says teachers should be involved when the Legislature resumes the discussion next January.
"This is an unbelievable civics lesson for our students on the importance of their voices", Aurora Lora tells Teen Vogue while standing in the bustling rotunda.
In Frankfort, Kentucky, teachers and other school employees chanted "Stop the war on public education".
"There are way too many of us to ignore", she said.
"We have made clear and simple asks for additional funding for students", Priest said on Monday.
Marci Underwood, an art teacher at El Reno High School, told Rewire.News that she hopes the rally brings greater awareness. "We do see them every day".
Ritter was part of the 1990 walkout and said one big way this one is different is that the governor and legislators at the time were much more sympathetic to the cause. We're grateful that they finally did something about the pay. Oklahoma secondary school teachers earned a wage of $42,460 as of May 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "It's about our kids and our funding that we get for our classrooms". "If it's needed for us to do it again, I think there are lots of people that would be willing to do it". "At the end of the day it is about students and doing our very best for students". "And I think that's really cool".