Lawmakers and educators meeting in Lawton Thursday

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - With teachers across Oklahoma demanding a pay raise and concerns over teacher walkouts, Professional Oklahoma Educators has a legislative forum set for Thursday evening to get answers.

This meeting –which will allow teachers talk to local lawmakers – was planned nine months ago, and Lawton POE president and Carol Thurman said it couldn't be at a better time. At least 100 educators, from teachers to superintendents, are expected to be in attendance.

Thurman is looking forward to a good discussion on the different types of needs schools have right now – like general classroom funding and teacher pay.

"It's a great time for them to be in the same room with us where we're not just on the sidelines, we get to participate because our focus every day is on the classroom and with them coming down there in our environment," Thurman said.

She said they hope to find answers from the legislators about how to prevent a walkout.

"Hopefully they can bring something to the table that they can tell us some good news, something that they're planning," she said.

And while they're curious about the issue of funding for teachers,  educators also have questions about other bills regarding education that is currently in the state legislature.

Ultimately, Thurman hopes that legislators leave with a better understanding of what the teachers are facing.

"The different challenges and that they'll see that these teachers are real people and that they bring a perspective different than what they just hear," she said. "The teachers are there expressing the challenges they face."

The meeting is Thursday, March 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the Eisenhower High School library.

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