DAY 4: SWOK teachers hopeful for solutions

DAY 4: SWOK teachers hopeful for solutions
(Source KSWO)

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (KSWO) - Teachers from southwest Oklahoma again made their presence felt at the state capitol, with several teachers spreading a message of hope.

The crowds continue to surround the capitol and on day four, teachers said there's a resounding feeling of hope, but Lawton Public School teacher Ashlee Leighow said that feeling is nothing new.

"The bill that they passed gave us hope and then they took stuff away but they're slowly putting stuff back in there and every little bit helps," Leighhow said.

Tishina Mindemann with Anadarko Middle School said she has been following our house and senate closely this week. She said she feels some of the actions they've taken are small steps simply to appease the teachers, which is frustrating, but she feels they're close to making real change.

"I feel like the house is trying to make progress and the Senate is kind of stifling those things. The house voted for the ball and dice and the Amazon tax and those are steps in the right direction if we can get that capital gains tax going, get it passed by both, I think you'll have a lot of happy teachers," Mindemann said.

When legislators are not on the floor working to pass legislation this week, they've been answering questions from teachers inside the capitol. Cache High School Algebra teacher Tara Wells has been one of the hundreds of teachers asking those questions, which she said is very important to her.

"I think you get a lot more information that way than you do just from reading stuff on Facebook or getting it from other people. When you get to meet with somebody face to face, you can see their body language, their answers, everything. Do they really answer your question, or do they beat around the bush to answer your question? Very informational for sure," Wells said.

Teachers from Geronimo Public Schools have also been at the capitol every day, despite originally planning to stay open all week. Thanks to a second vote by the teachers, those plans changed.

"It felt really good to know that we were able to have the option to come back together and see what we want to do. We've had nothing but encouragement from our school board and our administration. Our community has been outstanding, giving us donations of money and snacks and drinks. They want us here and as long as they want us here, we'll keep coming," said Geronimo 5th grade teacher Shelby Crow.

Teachers 7NEWS spoke with said they plan on being right back at the capitol on Friday.

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