Cushing classes continue on first day of walkout

Luke Hall

CUSHING, Oklahoma – Thousands of walkout participants gathered at the Oklahoma state capital on Monday, but Cushing Independent School District stayed in session.

The decision to not participate in the walkout was announced by the district on Friday. Jim Lauerman, Cushing High School Principal, and his staff have decided to respect that decision.

Cushing classes carried on as usual Monday because the district is in a much different position than most public-schools.

“We don’t receive state funding,” said Lauerman. “We’ve been able to do a lot of things as you look around this campus because of the tax revenue we’ve received off pipelines and storage.”

While those tax revenues have been large sources of funding for Cushing schools, Lauerman recognized that not every school district has that luxury.

“We’re really kind of lucky,” said Lauerman. “But, you have to look at the whole state … When you put it all together, it’s really not a Cushing deal, it’s not a Drumright deal, it’s not a Stroud deal, it’s an Oklahoma deal.”

The state legislator passed House Bill 1010XX last week, but the resolutions did not meet the Oklahoma Educators Association’s demands. Although Cushing staff did not walk out Monday, Lauerman said they still support the mission of the teachers who are.

“Teachers aren’t up there today for the raise and all that,” said Lauerman. “They’re up there to tell the legislator that schools need funding.”