Following Strikes, Teachers in Oklahoma and Arizona Make Big Gains at Ballot Box

(Tulsa World)

Writing for the Guardian, Payday Senior Labor Reporter Mike Elk has a look how teachers in Oklahoma and Arizona made gains at the ballot box following their historic teachers’ strikes last year: 

Last April, thousands of teachers across the state of Oklahoma went on strike; making increased funding for education and a seat at the table in education a priority. Now, educators have been swept in record numbers into office in Oklahoma. Earlier this month, 16 educators were elected to the Oklahoma state house; bringing the total number of educators in the state legislature to 25.

The wave of pro-education energy helped Kendra Horn become the first Democrat to be elected from Oklahoma’s fifth congressional district in 44 years and the first female Democratic representative to the House from Oklahoma.

Horn, 42, made education funding a central focus of her campaign and had many teachers going door-to-door on her behalf.

“We saw a greater involvement of teachers than ever before during this political process over the last six months when we moved from the walkout to the elections and teachers found their collective voice and they aren’t going anywhere,” said the Oklahoma Education Association vice-president, Katherine Bishop.

Go to the Guardian to read the full story. 

About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing over 1,800 stories from 46 states, Elk was the only American reporter in the room with Lula on the morning of the election & traveled with him to the Oval Office. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]

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