Morning Bell: The politics of the teacher walkout

Retired Staff Sgt. Ted Krey writes the name of a favorite teacher on a sign held by Blake Coward on the 11th day of a walkout by Oklahoma teachers on the south side of the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Thursday, April 12, 2018. Coward has been at the Capitol having people write the names of favorite teachers on his signs. Krey, who served in the U.S. Marines, Army and Air Force, is at the Capitol portraying Capt. Samuel Nicholson. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Retired Staff Sgt. Ted Krey writes the name of a favorite teacher on a sign held by Blake Coward on the 11th day of a walkout by Oklahoma teachers on the south side of the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Thursday, April 12, 2018. Coward has been at the Capitol having people write the names of favorite teachers on his signs. Krey, who served in the U.S. Marines, Army and Air Force, is at the Capitol portraying Capt. Samuel Nicholson. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

Good Monday morning. My weekend was spent trying to catch my breath after the two-week teacher walkout. I image it was much of the same for educators across the state.

While the massive demonstrations at the Capitol are over, the impact of the walkout will last for years. And the presence of teachers at the Capitol isn’t over as some schools have pledged to send delegates this week.

There were tons of story lines from the walkout. One popular narrative, especially for national outlets, was that the walkout was a red-state revolt, where teachers pushed back on nearly a decade of Republican dominance.

To call the teacher walkout an anti-Republican demonstration could ignore the fact that most teachers are registered Republicans. Then again, there are some Republican teachers who say their party has an image problem when it comes to public education.

“I feel like everybody looks at Republicans as not pro-education,” said Sherrie Conley, a Republican candidate in House District 20, who is also a teacher. “I want everyone to know that Republicans care about education, too.”

On Sunday, I wrote about how the teacher walkout may not have started as a partisan event, but politics quickly came into play. You can read that story here.

On last week’s episode of Political State, we discussed the politics of the teacher strike and what to expect this election season. You can watch that video above or click here if you are reading this in your email.

Back to school

Many schools reopened last Friday. However,…

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