Oklahoma public schools are able to pay all of their employees through the end of their contracts, even with closed buildings, the governor announced Thursday. The governor made the announcement during his daily COVID-19 press conference.
State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister authored a letter to the governor April 1, asking him to waive any laws or rules that would prohibit paying these employees. She asked him to unequivocally open the door for school districts to do what’s right.
OEA President Alicia Priest responds
“Support staff are vital to public schools, and we thank Governor Stitt for doing the right thing by allowing districts to continue their pay checks through school closures. Education support professionals are the faces who greet our children when they climb onto the bus, remember their allergies in the lunch line, and ensure students make it through their day happy, healthy, and safe. Bus drivers, counselors, custodians, paraprofessionals, technical support, food service, and other support employees are the backbone of public education. Their already substandard wages are only amplified during this difficult time. They deserve to be compensated during this pandemic.”