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Morning Bell: Is the walkout over?

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People, including teachers, students and parents from Moore Public Schools, march on the south side of the state Capitol on the 11th day of a walkout by Oklahoma teachers in Oklahoma City, Thursday, April 12, 2018. The Moore superintendent opened schools and ended the district's participation in the walkout on Thursday. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
People, including teachers, students and parents from Moore Public Schools, march on the south side of the state Capitol on the 11th day of a walkout by Oklahoma teachers in Oklahoma City, Thursday, April 12, 2018. The Moore superintendent opened schools and ended the district's participation in the walkout on Thursday. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

Good Friday morning. The Oklahoma teacher walkout is over. Or is it?

Saying "we need to face reality," The Oklahoma Education Association announced Thursday that it was calling off the teachers strike, 11 days after it began. 

"Despite tens of thousands of people filling the Capitol and spilling out onto the grounds of this Capitol for nine (school) days, we have seen no significant legislative movement since last Friday," said Alicia Priest, president of the Oklahoma Education Association.

However, not every teacher agreed with the decision and some said they planned to return on Friday. Many schools plan to reopen today, including Edmond. But others had already announced they would remain closed for another day, including Oklahoma City. 

Norman Public Schools will reopen on Monday

Many teachers said they plan to continue sending advocacy teams to the Capitol, even with the walkout over. You can read my story on the OEA's call to end the strike here

On Thursday, Moore Public Schools reopened. However, about 500 of the district's 1,500 teachers stayed out and about 100 substitute teachers were needed, said Dustin Horstkoetter, director of safety and security.

"We knew that there were going to be a number of teachers that would be gone, but we also knew we would be able to cover those absences," he said.

"We are behind them, we encourage them. If they have the leave and they want to advocate at the Capitol, we are very much supportive of that choice."


At least four more teachers filed for office on Thursday.

"Being in the classroom for the past 15 years, I have experienced firsthand all of the things that the teachers are complaining about today," said Sherrie Conley, a Republican candidate in House District 20 who is also an educator.

Several teacher filed for state House and Senate races on Wednesday. The filing window ends today. 

Broken Arrow Superintendent Janet Dunlop has received a 3-year contract extension. The Broken Arrow school board voted Monday night to extend Dunlop’s contract three years through June 30, 2021, which officials said is in line with the standard contract length of superintendents in comparable districts, reports the Tulsa World

That does it for today's Morning Bell. See you Monday. 

Related Photos
People, including teachers, students and parents from Moore Public Schools, march on the south side of the state Capitol on the 11th day of a walkout by Oklahoma teachers in Oklahoma City, Thursday, April 12, 2018. The Moore superintendent opened schools and ended the district's participation in the walkout on Thursday.  Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

People, including teachers, students and parents from Moore Public Schools, march on the south side of the state Capitol on the 11th day of a walkout by Oklahoma teachers in Oklahoma City, Thursday, April 12, 2018. The Moore superintendent opened schools and ended the district's participation in...

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d3eced099f1c826f2b70d9054801d028.jpg" alt="Photo - People, including teachers, students and parents from Moore Public Schools, march on the south side of the state Capitol on the 11th day of a walkout by Oklahoma teachers in Oklahoma City, Thursday, April 12, 2018. The Moore superintendent opened schools and ended the district's participation in the walkout on Thursday. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman" title="People, including teachers, students and parents from Moore Public Schools, march on the south side of the state Capitol on the 11th day of a walkout by Oklahoma teachers in Oklahoma City, Thursday, April 12, 2018. The Moore superintendent opened schools and ended the district's participation in the walkout on Thursday. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>People, including teachers, students and parents from Moore Public Schools, march on the south side of the state Capitol on the 11th day of a walkout by Oklahoma teachers in Oklahoma City, Thursday, April 12, 2018. The Moore superintendent opened schools and ended the district's participation in the walkout on Thursday. Photo by Nate Billings, 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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