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Morning Bell: 'War on teachers'?

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Students show their sheep as judges scrutinize the animals during competition in the Market Wether Lamb Show as part of the Oklahoma Youth Expo on Thursday, March 15, 2018, at State Fair Park. The event ends on Friday. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
Students show their sheep as judges scrutinize the animals during competition in the Market Wether Lamb Show as part of the Oklahoma Youth Expo on Thursday, March 15, 2018, at State Fair Park. The event ends on Friday. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

*Some may have received Thursday's Morning Day in an email today. Here is Friday's edition.

Good Friday morning. It's the final day before spring break for many schools across Oklahoma. You're almost there!

Yesterday, House Speaker Charles McCall unveiled a teacher pay plan he said would give most teachers as much as a $20,000 raise within six years. Minutes after the plan was unveiled the Oklahoma Education Association, which is pushing for a $10,000 teacher pay raise, called the plan a "political stunt."

The plan did not include a funding proposal. You can read more here

Staying open during strike

While many school boards have decided to close school if teachers strike on April 2, some plan to remain open, including Stroud Public Schools and Pauls Valley. (KFOR)

Also, a day after the Putnam City School Board resolved to close schools for one day if there is a walkout, the district's leader told teachers they can miss up to five days without losing pay.

In OKCPS, the acting superintendent said Thursday she's prepared to close schools "indefinitely" if teachers walk off the job April 2.

"At a certain point we'll have to adjust the calendar to continue going to school into June, so we may be on a true continuous calendar for next year," Superintendent Rebecca Kaye said Thursday during a news conference at Northeast Academy.

Prayers for teachers 

As state lawmakers met inside the State Capitol on Thursday in the hopes of staving off a teacher walkout, members of the Oklahoma City metro faith community held a prayer vigil outside the building in a faith-full show of solidarity with teachers.

A crowd of about 300 people gathered on the Capitol's south plaza for the Churches For Teachers Prayer Vigil, reports The Oklahoman's Carla Hinton

War on teachers comes to Oklahoma?

In a recent column for Education Week, Lawrence Baines (associate dean for graduate studies and research at the University of Oklahoma Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education) and Jim Machell (dean of the College of Education at the University of Central Oklahoma) explore how the war on teachers has come to Oklahoma. 

They write: In many ways, the impending teacher strike in Oklahoma is a crucible of the future of public schools in America. More than a movement to raise salaries, the teacher strike is a referendum on respect for a beleaguered profession.

Miller named superintendent of Bixby 

Sand Springs Assistant Superintendent Rob Miller and author of a popular education blog, viewfromtheedge.net, will be the next superintend of Bixby Public Schools. He’ll take over the school district no later than July 1, according to a statement from the school district, reports the Tulsa World

“The hallmark of any school system is high expectations,” Miller said after the school board vote. “And I have high expectations for myself.”

Miller served as the principal of Jenks Middle School before taking a position in Sand Springs. He’s been known as an activist for education reforms, including high-stakes testing.

Robert E. Lee Elementary 

The Tulsa School Board rescinded the name Robert E. Lee Elementary School but tabled a renaming to “Lee School” after community members asked the board to slow down. The current name, Robert E. Lee, will remain in effect until July 1, reports the Tulsa World

Related Photos
Students show their sheep as judges scrutinize the animals during competition in the Market Wether Lamb Show as part of the Oklahoma Youth Expo on Thursday, March 15, 2018, at State Fair Park. The event ends on Friday.  Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

Students show their sheep as judges scrutinize the animals during competition in the Market Wether Lamb Show as part of the Oklahoma Youth Expo on Thursday, March 15, 2018, at State Fair Park. The event ends on Friday. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-9a670978778556ca8cb411c1f66b8983.jpg" alt="Photo - Students show their sheep as judges scrutinize the animals during competition in the Market Wether Lamb Show as part of the Oklahoma Youth Expo on Thursday, March 15, 2018, at State Fair Park. The event ends on Friday. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman" title="Students show their sheep as judges scrutinize the animals during competition in the Market Wether Lamb Show as part of the Oklahoma Youth Expo on Thursday, March 15, 2018, at State Fair Park. The event ends on Friday. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Students show their sheep as judges scrutinize the animals during competition in the Market Wether Lamb Show as part of the Oklahoma Youth Expo on Thursday, March 15, 2018, at State Fair Park. The event ends on Friday. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure>
Ben Felder

Ben Felder is an investigative reporter for The Oklahoman. A native of Kansas City, Ben has lived in Oklahoma City since 2010 and covered politics, education and local government for the Oklahoma Gazette before joining The Oklahoman in 2016.... Read more ›

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