LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -Some students from Lawton High School are not letting the teacher walkout stop them from preparing for their Advanced Placement tests in May. On Thursday morning they met with their teacher at Bakery and Company on Cache Road to study for the AP Government exam.
The students support the thousands of educators gathered at the state capitol this week, but they also miss being at school with their friends and learning. They are preparing for a test that will count towards college credit and they want to make sure they're ready.
Bakery and Company on Cache Road is known for it's sweet treats.But today part of the store was turned into a classroom for students in Lawton High School's AP Government Class.
"I like AP Government because AP classes challenge me academically," Zappala said.
Jacob Zappala is one of the students.
"I like coming to the Bakery with my friends and my teacher to talk about the stuff that we are suppose to cover, but I really prefer the classroom," Zappala said.
Zappala and his classmates haven't been to school this week because of the statewide teacher walkout.
"For them fighting not only for a better paycheck, which I think they deserve because teachers are very important to society, but also to fund the school," Zappala said.
Alicia Najera is their teacher and she volunteered her time to to get students ready for the exam.
"I'm going to do whatever it takes to make sure students are prepared," Najera said.
Najera said funding for the AP Program has been cut over the last few years.
"Because of that teachers are paying out of pocket in order to facilitate the needs of these students," Najera said.
She's even had to use her own money to purchase some of the AP books her student use that cost about $180 dollars each. She's calling on lawmakers to make a change and find more ways to bring in funding for the classroom.
"50 million over 700,000 students is less than the cost of a textbook. It's about $71 to $74 dollars depending on enrollment that is insufficient and when we have textbooks that are completely falling apart and being held together with duck tape," Najera said.
Joel Vann is also one of Najera's students.While he supports the teacher walkout, he said lawmakers have a tough decision to make.
"I just hope they find the money to do it. That's the issue cause I know it's hard especially education is a touchy subject and I feel like we need to improve it but the only way is to figure out how to get funding and I understand it's hard for them as well to figure it out," Vann said.
The AP tests will be held the first and second week in May. Najera said students will continue to study, until the teacher walkout is over.