Teacher walkout effort to draw Yukon school board’s approval

While Yukon is one of the highest paying districts in the area, officials with the Yukon School District say their teachers deserve to be paid more.

The school board, during a special meeting planned for Wednesday morning at 7:30, is expected to approve a resolution supporting a proposed teacher walkout on April 2.

Wednesday’s meeting is open to the public.

Currently, a first-year teacher in Yukon earns $35,852. That is well above the $31,600 state minimum.

Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth said last week that teachers need all the support they can get, and the district administration stands behind whatever decision is made.

Simeroth also was to hold a town meeting Tuesday at Yukon High School  to discuss the district’s plans with parents should the walkout occur.

Last week, the Oklahoma Education Association announced that if state legislators can’t come up with a funding formula that would provide teachers with a $10,000 pay raise over three years, as well as provide raises for support staff and other state employees, they would walk out of their classrooms on April 2.

There has been no word on whether members of the Yukon Education Association plan to join the statewide movement. Attempts to reach the association’s leadership have been unsuccessful.

During last week’s regular school board meeting, Simeroth said the district is behind its teachers.

“As a district, we place a high priority on our staff, and an even higher priority on our students,” he said.

Simeroth also said the district’s teachers have a special bond with their students.

“I think one of the things that makes Yukon such a phenomenal place is the level of concern, love and passion for our kids,” he said.

“The conversation about a teacher walkout has to center around our students and what’s best for our students,” the superintendent said.

That means protecting the time that students have in the classroom.

Simeroth said last week that school officials are working with teachers to develop a plan if the teachers do walk out.

“We support our teachers. We understand. They are under appreciated,” Simeroth said.

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