Following her tour of a Dallas middle school on Thursday, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was asked her thoughts on the Oklahoma teachers strike, which has now stretched into its fifth day.
Oklahoma teachers, whose salaries lag far behind most of the nation, haven’t had a raise since 2008. After many walked out of classrooms on Monday and marched on the Capitol, Republican lawmakers moved quickly to pass a tax bill to increase school funding and give raises that would average about $6,000. But many teachers have vowed to stay away from the classroom until additional revenue measures are passed.
“I think about the kids,” DeVos said. “I think we need to stay focused on what’s right for kids. And I hope that adults would keep adult disagreements and disputes in a separate place, and serve the students that are there to be served.”
Teachers in two other states — Kentucky and West Virginia — have walked out of classrooms this year to demand better salaries.