SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio educator is keeping tabs on the teacher walkouts in her former state of Oklahoma.
Cynthia Baez left the Sooner State two years ago for better pay and hasn’t looked back.
Baez said with a master’s degree, a specialty in special education and 10 years of experience, she was only making $35,000 a year. Her chances of advancing her career were also limited.
“They were like, 'We have so many cuts. You'll be lucky if we have a job for you next year,'” Baez said.
Since crossing the Oklahoma-Texas state line, her salary doubled. Her life was easier than most, she said, because for many of her colleagues, they were the primary income, and some are single parents. She was a secondary income for her family.
“In Oklahoma, the teachers are just like you. They want the same things you want. They're not given the opportunity to make enough money to do that,” she said.
As Oklahoma teachers go into their second week of protest, she said the stakes are higher for them.
Teachers are demanding a pay raise and for lawmakers to secure new funding for education while not shifting money from other programs to do so.
Lawmakers have approved a raise, but teachers point to old school supplies as their reason to continue to march.
“I just want to encourage those Oklahoma teachers not to quit, to keep going, and it will be worth it,” she said.