Teachers striking at the Oklahoma State Capitol. Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images
After a half dozen teacher protests throughout the spring, teachers are taking their actions in their fight for equal pay from the street to the ballot box.
The big picture: Teachers in both Kentucky and Oklahoma — who participated in walkouts and strikes to advocate for higher teacher pay and better quality classrooms for their students during the winter and spring — have already unseated traditional candidates in battles for seats in the state legislature.
By the numbers:
- 40 former educators ran for office in Kentucky primaries with a dozen of them moving on.
- More than 100 educators in Oklahoma ran for office in the state's primaries.
- Nearly four dozen of them won or advanced to runoffs.
- Travis Brenda unseated House Majority Floor Leader Jonathan Shell for the 71st house district seat in May despite him having Mitch McConnell's backing.
- Jacobi Crowley was a football coach and an assistant counselor before winning the democratic primary for Oklahoma's 32nd senate district.
- Carri Hicks, a fourth grade teacher, eked out a two point victory over incumbent Danielle Ezell in Oklahoma's 40th Senate District Democratic primary.
Why it matters: These victories by educators are evidence to incumbent politicians in other states that their protests have worked and people are in favor of raising teacher pay across the country.