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Could teachers repeat their 1990 strike?

Budget cuts to education are mounting. And on Monday, the Oklahoma House moved to reduce funding for state agencies for the current fiscal year.

The state Education Department stands to lose $16.2 million. Combined with higher education and other education agencies, the losses would be nearly $22 million.

Attempts to raise revenue have so far failed, including a penny-on-the-dollar sales tax and a proposal by a coalition of business and civic leaders called Step Up Oklahoma. Many Oklahoma teachers say they are fed up, and there is talk of a strike.

But could it happen?

In 1990, more than half of Oklahoma's teachers walked out of the classroom, shuttering a quarter of the state's school districts. The walk-out was resolved when lawmakers pushed through school financing legislation to provide a teacher pay raise and education reforms.

Oklahoma was ranked 48th in average teacher salaries then, and it's 49th today. So it should come as no surprise that an effort to strike or walk out is mobilizing.

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