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Morning Bell: TEACHER WALKOUT - DAY 3

Teachers and supporters of increased education funding pack the first and second floors of the state Capitol during the second day of a walkout by Oklahoma teachers, Tuesday, April 3, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Nate Billings/The Oklahoman)
Teachers and supporters of increased education funding pack the first and second floors of the state Capitol during the second day of a walkout by Oklahoma teachers, Tuesday, April 3, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Nate Billings/The Oklahoman)

Good morning! Hundreds of schools remain closed today as we enter Day 3 of a statewide teacher walkout. 

Here's a list of the school closings

Thousands of teachers are expected back at the state Capitol today, and one group even plans to start a 110-mile march from Tulsa to Oklahoma City. 

About that march to the Capitol - Teachers are planning to leave today from Webster High School in Tulsa, walking for about six hours to Kellyville High School. The march is scheduled to end in Oklahoma City next Tuesday. 

Oklahoma City Public Schools has announced it will provide meals for all students at the Capitol today. The district, which used buses to deliver meals to students on the first two days of the statewide teacher walkout, will have a bus on the south side of the Capitol from 10:30 to 1 p.m. to feed students, spokeswoman Beth Harrison said.

Students are planning to rally at the Capitol. Organized by Edmond student Gabrielle Davis, the student demonstration, referred to in a Facebook post as Student Voices for Education, will include student speeches outside the statehouse and meetings inside with legislators. It will begin at 10 a.m. on the Capitol's south side. 

As always, NewsOK will have a full slate of coverage from today's events at the Capitol. 

A look at Day 2...

Yesterday's rally at the Capitol appeared to nearly match the crowd from Monday. At one point Tuesday, Capitol officials closed several entrances after the building reached capacity.

"I'm here for as long as it takes; I'm here for the students," said Patrika Renschen, a seventh-grade math teacher from Deer Creek. "I'm holding out hope."

Here's my story from yesterday's teacher walkout, which had an increased level of intensity as teachers packed the Capitol. 


You can also watch a video recap of Tuesday's rally here

However, lawmakers did not take any action on education funding. In fact, for the second time this week, the House of Representatives adjourned after rejecting calls for more revenue to fund education — eliciting jeers and groans from the teacher-packed House gallery.

Democratic state Rep. Scott Inman asked his fellow lawmakers to suspend House rules so that the bill could be heard.

"(Senate Bill 1086) would bring $70 million to $100 million into the state by eliminating the capital gains exemption and using those dollars to backfill the $150 million hole that was created in last week's historic teacher pay raise," Inman said after the majority voted against his request.

I also wrote some of my observations from Day 2 of the walkout, which you can read here

Western Heights teachers continue walkout despite warnings 

Western Heights Public Schools resumed classes Tuesday, but about 30 teachers and support staff stayed away, choosing instead to return to the state Capitol to protest education funding.

The educators ignored the school board — which voted 4-1 Monday night to limit the district's support of a teacher walkout to one day — and the threat of disciplinary action if they skipped school.

"Our voices have not been heard, and our students need us to do this for them," said Laura Castrop, a high school counselor. 

The Oklahoman's Tim Willert has more on the story

That does it for today's Morning Bell. continue to follow the walkout at NewsOK and @benfelder_okc


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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