OEA Official Decries Parent Involvement In Schools

A top official at the Oklahoma Education Association (OEA), the state’s largest teachers’ union, recently decried growing parental involvement in public schools and said the union will work to counter parent voices during this year’s state legislative session.

In a transcribed interview posted on the OEA website, Ivy Riggs, the union’s associate executive director for the Center of Legislative and Political Organizing, complained that during the 2021 legislative session “the only contact legislators were receiving was coming from angry parents who were frustrated with what was happening in schools.”

Riggs said she is worried “because what we’re seeing is a lot of screaming and yelling at school board meetings and parents that have never been involved before now want to take over school boards. Legislators are hearing from those parents.”

To counter the growing voice of Oklahoma parents in education-policy debates, Riggs said the OEA has obtained funding from its national parent, the National Education Association (NEA), that will pay for the union to bring people into Oklahoma City during the 2022 legislative session, pay for a hotel, and then take them the following morning “to the Capitol to lobby.”

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