Becki Maldonado, an English teacher at Emerson Alternative High School in Oklahoma City, advances to the Senate District 16 Republican primary run-off. #oklaed #voteoklaed #okleg pic.twitter.com/JRPmWw5NsB— OK Education Assoc. (@okea) June 27, 2018
The teacher revolution in Oklahoma is already turning tables in the state legislature.
Since standing against teachers, nine out of 10 Republican lawmakers who voted against tax hikes to raise teachers’ pay either lost their primaries or are being forced to run against challengers.
Four GOP incumbents also lost their bids for re-election, with one being defeated by a seventh-grade teacher. And a fifth Republican state representative nearly lost the race, winning by just three votes after posting a Facebook video criticizing teachers who went on strike.
With the filing period for Oklahoma’s election falling on the two-week period teachers were on strike, it’s no wonder that lawmakers who were loudly against teachers’ demands would suffer a major blow.
To teachers across the state, this means they are finally getting the attention they fought for.
“Our voices were heard tonight,” confirmed Sherrie Conley, who serves as the assistant principal at an elementary school.
After their successful strike, lawmakers voted on a tax hike on fuel, cigarettes, and energy production, giving an average teacher a raise of $6,100, the first in a decade.
It’s clear that teachers managed to get the influence and power necessary not just to get the raise they demanded. They were also able to get state voters to rally behind their cause and kick out the lawmakers who stood against them.
That’s what true power looks like.