Survey Finds Overwhelming Support for School Closures

March 5, 2018

 

OEA survey results support statewide school closure if legislature fails to act

Wider announcement on revenue plan and school closure strategy
set for  Thursday, March 8, 2018

 

OKLAHOMA CITY — Nearly 80 percent of respondents of an online survey by the Oklahoma Education Association said they would support school closures to force the legislature to act on increased investments in schools, including a teacher pay increase.

After years of failed attempts by the Oklahoma Legislature to increase investment in the education of Oklahoma’s students, the Oklahoma Education Association will announce a detailed revenue package and statewide school closure strategy at a press conference at 1 p.m. Thursday, March 8, at OEA Headquarters, 323 E. Madison, Oklahoma City.

“The survey results showed overwhelming support for a statewide shutdown of schools from more than 10,000 educators, parents, students and community members,” said Alicia Priest, the OEA President and a Spanish teacher from Yukon.

The plan announced on Thursday will reflect OEA’s continued collaboration with school superintendents, school boards, education coalition partners, parents and community members statewide.

Once the Legislature failed to pass a budget that improved education funding or provided for a teacher and support personnel raise in 2017, OEA members and staff met to adopt a legislative agenda for the 2018 session titled Together We’re Stronger.

Together We’re Stronger seeks to give a $10,000 pay raise to Oklahoma teachers over three years, a $5,000 pay raise to support professionals over three years, a cost-of-living adjustment for retirees, and the restoration of funding for education and core government services.

Bills were filed at the beginning of the 2018 legislative session that included planks of the Together We’re Stronger plan, but the legislature failed to advance most of the legislation by the crucial first committee deadline March 1.

“Lawmakers have ignored repeated advocacy efforts by OEA members — including thousands of emails and phone calls to lawmakers, days of action at the Capitol, and community forums across the state,” Priest said. “This has led to this crucial grassroots movement of educators to take drastic efforts to save public education and ensure students receive a quality education that prepares them for the future.

“OEA is honored to take the lead as the voice of this movement,” Priest said.

Anyone  interested in showing support or wanting to help with advocacy efforts in the coming weeks to contact the OEA office at info@okea.org, like the OEA Facebook page or follow OEA on Twitter.

 

The following are the survey results:

 

Q1: What is your connection to education?

 

Total

10,841

OEA Members

5,602 (52%)

Non-Member Education Employees

2,931 (27%)

Parents

934 (9%)

Retired education employees

736 (7%)

Community members

453 (4%)

Students

158 (1%)

 

Q2: Is it time for schools to close down and for educators to come to the Capitol?

 

 

Yes

No

Unsure

Total

80%

(8,618)

6%

(608)

15%

(1,588)

OEA Members

81%

(4,517)

4%

(252)

15%

(833)

Non-Member Education Employees

81%

(2,377)

4%

(117)

15%

(437)

Parents

76%

(708)

10%

(95)

14%

(131)

Retired education employees

76%

(560)

9%

(69)

15%

(107)

Community members

75%

(338)

13%

(57)

13%

(58)

Students

75%

(118)

11%

(18)

14%

(22)

 

Q3: Do you believe your community would support that action?

 

 

Yes

No

Unsure

Other

Total

57%

(6,116)

10%

(1,082)

32%

(3,421)

2%

(182)

OEA Members

55%

(3,090)

10%

(560)

33%

(1,850)

2%

(95)

Non-Member Education Employees

57%

(1,678)

10%

(282)

32%

(939)

1%

(30)

Parents

64%

(600)

10%

(96)

23%

(216)

2%

(19)

Retired education employees

52%

(384)

10%

(77)

34%

(247)

4%

(27)

Community members

57%

(258)

11%

(50)

30%

(136)

2%

(9)

Students

67%

(106)

11%

(17)

21%

(33)

1%

(2)

 

Q4: If you are an education employee, would you be concerned that a work action could put your job in jeopardy?

 

 

Yes

No

Unsure

Other

Total

37%

(3,124)

41%

(3,437)

19%

(1,630)

3%

(226)

OEA Members

37%

(2,038)

41%

(2,243)

20%

(1,092)

3%

(165)

Non-Member Education Employees

38%

(1,086)

41%

(1,194)

19%

(538)

2%

(61)

 


 

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