At their teachers’ request, the Board of Directors for John Rex Charter Elementary voted to “fully support its teachers” in the event of a state teacher walkout over school funding.
The board’s resolution Monday also said that they would back the teachers through the first five days of the threatened walkout and then decide what to do beyond those days if the walkout lasts longer.
The resolution makes no mention of closing school, however.
But, Head of School Dr. Joe Pierce sent an email to all parents late Monday informing them of the plan for school closure if the walkout happens.
“We cannot conduct school without a sufficient number of staff members present. This is purely a safety concern,” Pierce wrote.
“At this time, the number of teachers who have told us they will participate in the walkout will require us to cancel school on April 2nd. The duration of the closure is unknown at this time.”
He went on to reassure parents that the school takes the option with the State Board of Education to measure hours in school rather than days to meet their legal required minimum of instruction.
The school uses that option to gain credit for extending their school day. The extra hours also give them more flexibility to respond to unexpected events such as weather and sickness closures.
Pierce wrote that John Rex currently has 77 extra hours built up beyond the minimum.
“If the walkout were to exceed our excess 77 hours, we would have to make up the time missed,” Pierce said in the letter.
See the letter and the board’s resolution below.
The largest teachers’ organization in the state, the Oklahoma Education Association, has called for a walkout and they are being supported by the public employees union.
They have given the Oklahoma Legislature until the end of March to come up with a plan to better fund education and public employee pay.
If they don’t, the association calls for teachers to walkout on April 2 and stay out until the Legislature makes changes.John-Rex-Board-Resolution_Teacher-Walkout_3_19_18
Parent Letter- Walkout Info
Note: The Feature photo at the top of the page is a file photo from the board’s January meeting.