Oklahoma teachers prepare to rally at the state capitol

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MADILL, OK -- Thousands of teachers across Southern Oklahoma and the rest of the state, will be rallying at the Capitol next week.

Charlotte Mapp, an 8th grade teacher at Madill, says she's having to spend more time testing rather than teaching and she wants that to change.

Mapp said, "We have students who are under a great deal of stress because they're worried that they're not going to graduate or they're not going to promote to the next grade because of the new testing."

That's why Mapp says she and the Madill teaching staff are headed to rally at the state Capitol next Monday.

"We are going to go with a loud voice. We are going to march with about 20,000 other teachers across the state," said Mapp.

"We'd like to have a voice. We would like to have a say in education. It seems we're not considered when issues come up. They're just given to us: mandates, accountability. We get all of the accountability but none of the authority," said superintendent Jon Tuck.
He says since 2009, Madill schools have lost more than $700,000 in general fund revenue.

"Our teacher salaries are so low compared to other states that our teachers aren't staying in Oklahoma. Our teachers are moving to other states, which is sad."

"We want to provide our kids with the best education possible. We want to provide them with the best teachers possible. And right now, we're just not able to do that," said Tuck.

State Representative, Pat Ownbey, agrees that it's time for teachers to get a pay raise.

"It's going to be a great day I think just because, you know, this is great to have that kind of push for teachers and for educators and for education and how important the funding is," said Ownbey.

However, others worry more state-wide incentives for educators could mean less incentives for drilling companies to keep working in the state at the same pace.

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