"This is was with rent and daycare, before even groceries and diapers and so we were living off of our credit cards for the longest time", Sheehan said.
Teachers packed the Capitol rotunda during the morning hours Thursday and chanted "Don't back down" and "We're not leaving!"
"Now that teachers have received a pay raise, we must focus on reforms that will empower teachers and local school districts to use funds to best meet the needs of our students", he said.
Declaring victory, the state's largest teacher's union announced the state's nine-day educator walkout is over.
"We do not want to be here, but I feel like we've walked backwards in nine days". "It's hard to negotiate with 40,000 people, and so we have not gotten clear direction from the teachers or the organizations that represent them of who actually makes the final decision". "But we know that we have started a movement that will continue past the end (of the walkout), whenever that is".
Laura and her colleagues from Quapaw Public Schools gather before an evening of picketing. Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association Vice President Shawna Mott-Wright posted on Facebook, "Do you think quitting the premier teacher association (OEA) will help strengthen teachers?"
"This is EXACTLY what our pathetic legislature wants: teacher against teacher", Mott-Wright wrote.
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The strike was part of a wave of actions by teachers in states that have some of the lowest per-student spending in the country. Large districts like Bartlesville and Moore Public Schools will reopen today-but not without a fight.
Districts quickly called classes back into session after the OEA announcement Thursday.
More than 500,000 students have been affected by the school closures.
Many Oklahoma schools have been closed throughout the state for almost two weeks during the teacher walkout.
The resumption of classes also takes thousands of local education support employees out of financial limbo.
The comments come as schools across the state have been closed since April 2 due to the walkout. Depending on the district, some employees haven't been paid since the walkout starter.
More than a dozen teachers filed paperwork this week to run for state House and Senate seats, many of them first-time candidates inspired by the teacher walkout that has shuttered schools across the state for a second consecutive week. Less than five minutes after lawmakers met two of the union's most pressing asks - the new tax of online sellers and legalizing ball and dice games in casinos - last week, the union announced it wasn't enough, Treat said.