TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — Stores and shopping centers across Oklahoma are packed as people take advantage of tax-free weekend, but some parents still have lingering concerns about the new school year and the budget issues.
Just last month, a Grimes Elementary teacher took to the streets, asking for money to pay for her school supplies.
“It is disappointing because I grew up and my mother was a teacher and I saw how much money she had to put in it and that was how many years ago,” manager at Haley’s Boutique and parent Melissa England said.
Lack of funding, few pay raises, larger class sizes, all things pushing teachers out the door and into new careers or states.
“Teachers are some of the most hard working people that you will meet and every teacher I know cares deeply about his or her students, so to leave the profession is a very difficult decision and that is concerning,” former teacher Ashley Knopp said.
Knopp was a teacher in Colorado and Texas before moving to Tulsa last month.
“Budget is always an issue, you are funded differently, but the six years I was teaching, we didn’t have major issues,” she said.
Quite the opposite to what Oklahoma is experiencing.
“We hope to one day be using Oklahoma public schools for our children’s education and that saddens me,” Knopp said.
But, if it can’t be changed, parents like Melissa England are jumping in to do whatever they can to make sure their kids get the best education.
“I have been a homeroom mom and on the PTA, and what we do to help the teachers, people really have no idea,” England said.
Parents are just buying school supplies for their kids these days, they are buying them for teachers, too.
“At the public school level, it is really what the PTA is doing to get funding to even what they have now,” England said.
Like many others, England is prepared to fund our teachers to ensure the best education for her children.
Back to school supplies are not on the tax free list, but several stores have sales for school supplies throughout the weekend.