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Teachers picket around the Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, April 2, 2018, as teachers rally against low school funding.
Sue Ogrocki/AP
Education

Teachers Post Photos of Crumbling Text Books Amid Strike in Oklahoma

Yesterday, tens of thousands of public school teachers from across the state of Oklahoma skipped school to protest stagnant teacher salaries and insufficient funding for school resources, such as critical school supplies. 

Teachers are not only calling for raises, but also asking for a $200 million increase in the state’s education budget over the next three years — and for good reason. 

Photos of textbooks posted online by teachers, students, and parents show the tattered, worn, and outdated materials in the cash-strapped school system. Some textbooks are missing covers. Others are falling apart at the seams. History books lack critical information.

Take Action: Tell Your Representative to Support Education For Every Child

“This is a textbook from my daughter’s class. It’s a history book and the current President in it is George W. Bush,” one parent wrote on Twitter. “We can do better, Oklahoma.” 

Another Twitter posted a picture of a stack of literature textbooks that appear to be falling apart, writing: “50th in Funding is NOT OK.” 

According to Education Week, Oklahoma was the fourth worst state in the US for educational achievement — beating out only Nevada, New Mexico, and Mississippi when ranked on a number of indicators. 

“While I’m disappointed by Oklahoma’s overall Quality Counts grade, I am not surprised, given the teacher shortage and budget crisis our state is facing,” state superintendent Joy Hofmeister told Tulsa World of the state’s ranking

Read More: This Is Why Oklahoma Teachers Are Ditching Their Classrooms Today

Overall, the US received a “C” in the Education Week report. This poor grade falls in line with other international rankings that consistently show US academic achievement lagging behind that of other developed countries.  

Global Citizen campaigns on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, and quality education is goal number four. This includes providing “safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all.” You can join us and call on US leaders to fund the Global Partnership for Education here

Achieving this goal will require that teachers have adequate supplies with which to create effective learning environments. 

In the US, states like Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Kentucky, are taking the lead in this fight — and for students across the country, it’s a battle that could have long-lasting implications.