ACS votes to support the proposed teacher walkout set for next week

ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - Ardmore City Schools voted Tuesday to close for a few days next week if the Oklahoma Legislature fails to pass legislation that would significantly raise teacher pay before Monday's scheduled teacher walkout.

"We are a government of the people and by the people and if you don't raise your voice nobody is going to hear," Gene Cormier said.

Ardmore City Schools will use extra days given in their calendar to give the teachers 4 paid days off so they can protest at the state capitol.

Superintendent Kim Holland says it was a collaborative decision between teachers and the board to stay open on Tuesday for ACT testing.

Students were already off next Friday - which was a teacher work day but will now be another day for teachers to head to the capitol.

"I think we have a good unified effort going forward," Superintendent Kim Holland said. "Our board is very much in favor of seeing our teachers supported and also seeing our public schools funded appropriately."

Teachers and other school workers we spoke to say they will be at the capitol next week.

"This is a position we have been put in as educators, it was not something - a place we wanted to be but it is where we are and it's time we do something about it before it gets any worse," Amanda Cramer said.

Holland says he is working with local agencies to create a place for students to go during the day while parents work.

He also says they plan on keeping the elementary school's cafeterias open so kids have a place to eat.

A bill that would raise teacher pay was approved in the House Monday but it still needs Senate approval and the governor's signature.

"We do not want to go to sleep on this because like I said it's a step in the right direction there are many steps to get it completed," Gene Cormier said.

Holland says they plan on hosting a rally at Noble Stadium on Monday - open to those who can't make it to the capitol.

Details including what time that rally will start are still being worked on.

If an agreement is not reached before April 9, Holland says a delegation will be sent from Ardmore City Schools to continue the effort on behalf of the district while students and staff return to school.

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