Ada Organization Braces for Teacher Walkout


ADA, Oklahoma -- With a teacher walkout on the horizon in Oklahoma, the Ada Regional United Way is getting ready to be a place where students can turn.

The clock is ticking; if lawmakers fail to find a way to boost the salaries of Sooner State educators, they have vowed to walk out of schools in just two weeks.
"Our board decided we need to do something," said United Way Executive Director James Jackson. "What we felt like our best position would be is to act as kind of a centralized hub of resources that are available."
Those resources include education, lunch, and facilities -- something the Boys and Girls club of Ada, a United Way partner, can provide.
But with thousands of students in Pontotoc County, it's an issue the organization is still working on.
"Who has the facility? Who has the volunteers? Because you're not going to have paid staff to do those things," Jackson said.
He added that the United Way is hoping the Chickasaw Nation can also provide students a place to have lunch that they otherwise would've gotten at school.
"Their nutrition program offers a summer lunchtime program that does free lunches in different locations around the community. So they're actually trying to get approval to offer that in multiple areas starting in April," Jackson said.
He hopes for a resolution before the April 2 deadline, but said the United Way would rather be safe than sorry.
"We want to prepare for the worst-case scenario; if there is a walkout, we want to make sure there's a potential for resources to be available," Jackson said.