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Oklahoma Watch: Four Years After the Walkout, this Team of Teachers is Still Visiting the Capitol

It’s been almost four years since teachers converged on the state Capitol to protest inadequate funding for public education. For a group
of Duncan educators, the legacy of that advocacy continues.

Following the Oklahoma teacher walkout in 2018, Duncan teachers Cathy Barker, Derrick Miller and Sonia Norton were among the estimated 36,000 to rally at the state Capitol for better pay and classroom resources. Lawmakers that year approved an average $6,000
salary increase for classroom teachers and, the following year, added another $1,200.

That year they formed the Legislative Advocacy Team of Duncan Educators, recognizing the need for the walkout-inspired advocacy to continue. Their local association, the Association of Duncan Educators, negotiated for a contract that included 50 advocacy days a year. Norton is the association president and Barker is the vice president.

They visit the Capitol regularly and host lawmakers in their schools, too. They were at the Capitol on Monday this week for the start of Public Schools Week, dropping into lawmakers’ offices and ensuring their voices are heard. “Vouchers are one of the biggest concerns this year,” said Miller, who teaches journalism at Duncan Middle School.

Oklahoma Watch, at oklahomawatch.org, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that covers public-policy issues facing the state.”