Press Release

Oklahoma City Teachers to Return to Classes Monday with Plans to Mobilize for November Elections

For Release:


Janet Bass

OKLAHOMA CITY—Statements from Oklahoma City American Federation of Teachers President Ed Allen, AFT-Oklahoma President Mary Best and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on teachers returning to schools on Monday, at the insistence of the school district:

Ed Allen: “Oklahoma City teachers will be walking into schools Monday with our heads held high, proud of the gains we accomplished for students, schools and educators. Monday also marks the start of our ‘Remember in November’ fight to elect pro-public education legislators. We will evaluate the record of the 748 candidates who just filed for state legislative seats and endorse the ones who support what children, schools and families need to succeed. Teachers can take some credit for the decision made by many lawmakers not to run again after we exposed their anti-public school agendas. We are committed to turning the Legislature into a body of lawmakers who no longer will shortchange our students’ future. This was not just a two-week moment but a movement that will continue with teacher presence daily at the Capitol to push for additional public education investment.

“We want to publicly thank the incredible support of the Oklahoma City school board, superintendent, parents, students and other community allies. It was because of their enduring support and massive presence at the Statehouse that we achieved what we did.”

Mary Best: “Teachers, school support personnel and other school staff from across the state will never again be seen but not heard. Their voices were raised, their struggle was acknowledged and their fight for what every student deserves caught on like fire. That should worry candidates who resist what the public wants.”

Randi Weingarten: “Oklahoma teachers have shown the nation what it means to fight and care for their students, their public schools and their communities’ future. Their efforts over the past two weeks were rewarded with a tidal wave of support, recognition and tangible investments for what teachers and students need. We need to make sure there is a big tidal wave of big changes in legislatures nationwide so the public school community can spend their time helping kids succeed, not begging or demonstrating for decent pay and adequate school funding. The nation has fallen in love with Oklahoma teachers and their conviction; now we must turn that sentiment into action at the ballot box. We need lawmakers who help us, not deter us, from helping our children secure a world-class public education.”


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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.