Oklahoma Eagle Newswire
ACTION (Allied Communities of Tulsa Inspiring Our Neighborhoods), a coalition of congregations and other civic groups in the Tulsa metro area working on issues that face families, will hold an Education Awareness Weekend March 24-26. During this weekend, congregations and non-profits across Tulsa and the state will draw attention to the teacher pay crisis in Oklahoma and its impact on students.
On Saturday, March 25, from 3-5 pm, Together Oklahoma offers “Funding Our Future,” a public event to discuss how education is funded, some possible options for increasing revenue, and legislative updates. “We don’t need a state budget that is conditional. We need guaranteed, recurring revenue sources,” said Shay White, an ACTION leader with Together Oklahoma.
“People don’t understand the impact this is having on our children. Classrooms are over crowded, so teachers don’t have the time they used to for working with individual students. Sometimes they are working two and three jobs so they can’t sponsor extra-curricular activities. Teachers are leaving for higher paying jobs, and that turnover leaves less-experienced teachers in the classroom,” said Deanna Tirrell, a Jenks Public Schools librarian and a leader with ACTION member institution, All Souls Unitarian Church. All Souls will host a legislative information table on Sunday, March 26 along with other activities to show support for educators.
“The budget has been cut to the bone, and it has to stop,” said Eileen Werner, an ACTION leader who has a child in Tulsa Public Schools. “We need money to revive our schools, and our legislators need to listen and act.” Werner’s congregation, Fellowship Congregational United Church of Christ will host an “Education Awareness Show and Tell” after worship on Sunday, March 26 from 11:45 am to 1 pm.
From school closures, to four day school weeks, to overcrowded classrooms with under-qualified teachers, to teachers having to access food pantries to feed their families, there comes a time when enough is enough. Education Awareness Weekend will bring these issues greater attention. A full list of ACTION Education Awareness Weekend events is available upon request. Contact Deanna Tirrell ( email@example.com 918-857-5546) or Shay White ( firstname.lastname@example.org 918-924-5064).