Lessons From the Oklahoma Teachers’ Strike
Educators’ walkouts fuel push for better pay, statewide education funding (EWA Radio: Episode 165)
After nine days on the picket lines, Oklahoma teachers are back to work this week. Like their counterparts in West Virginia and Kentucky who also went on strike this spring, teachers in the Sooner State were seeking more than bigger paychecks; they also aimed to draw attention to funding shortfalls for public schools statewide. Ben Felder of The Oklahoman shares his experiences as a local reporter covering what quickly swelled into a national story. Which questions yielded telling answers from striking teachers, as well as district leaders, parents, and students? How did Felder build a deep network of sources among union leaders and rank-and-file teachers? And what are story ideas for local reporters covering the teacher workforce, whether or not a strike looms?