Locals react to statewide teacher walkout as it appears to come to an end

ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - After nine days of national attention, the statewide teacher walkout in Oklahoma appears to be coming to an end.

The Oklahoma Education Association's President, Alicia Priest, announced late Thursday afternoon now is the time to end the teacher walkout and focus their efforts elsewhere.

"You have achieved a historic victory for our students," Priest said.

The head of the state's largest union says it's time to shift their focus to electing pro-education candidates to the state legislature.

"We must work harder than ever to elect education champions who will put students first," Priest.

Priest touted what teachers have accomplished so far by walking out.

"Because of the members of the Oklahoma Education Association and the overwhelming support by the public, we were able to secure $479 million dollars in education funding," Priest said.

Welcome news for those like Brieanna Irvin, who are ready to see kids back in the classroom.

"If our kids are not allowed to be in school to get an education how do we expect them to excel in life, I mean we can't go on with this forever," Irvin said.

Irvin who has a sibling that attends school says it's important for them keep attending classes and finishing the school year on time.

Other local like Linda Smith say the walkout should go on as long as needed.

"Why can't we get the funding to give these kids what they need - to be future educators, future congressman, maybe even a future president, they aren't going to get there without the teachers," Smith said.

Because it's a cause worth fighting for.

"This is making a statement, it's making a statement that you know the teachers and kids believe in their cause," smith said.

The majority of the schools in Southern Oklahoma like Ardmore and Healdton stayed open this week and sent delegates to continue rallying at the capitol.

But schools like Zaneis, Turner and Hugo decided to close for the whole week.

Sulphur closed Monday through Thursday but will resume classes Friday.

Dickson decided to shut down for the week now that state testing is finished and have confirmed they will remain closed Friday despite the walkout said to end.

So far Oklahoma City and Tulsa schools have announced they will also remain closed Friday.

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