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SLIDESHOW: Oklahoma City Public Schools Students Walk Out Over Budget Cuts

Students in Oklahoma City Public Schools are upset with the budget cuts their district is facing, and many walked out of school Monday in protest.

About 600 students at U.S. Grant High School rallied in the parking lot and chanted, “No ifs, no buts, no budget cuts” in protest of the district slashing $30 million from the budget. Protests also broke out at several other campuses.

"We don’t want budget cuts," senior Christopher Black said. "We want more funding to our education; to the future of America."

Junior Cassidy Coffey organized the protest using Facebook. She says she wants state leaders to know her education is being affected. 

"One day being taken out of class is nothing compared to my whole next year and everyone else’s years being taken from them because of overcrowded, lack of teachers, because of lack of staff," Coffey said. "One day can make a difference for the rest of my days."
Principal Greg Frederick says the protests were not supported by the administration, but he feels for the cause.

Our students will experience significant changes in their education for next year,” Frederick said. “Our school in particular was cut 20 teachers, and that’s all due to budget cuts.”

He said he wishes kids had spoken with legislators instead—what he calls the source of the problem.

In graduate school at the University of Montana, Emily Wendler focused on Environmental Science and Natural Resource reporting with an emphasis on agriculture. About halfway through her Master’s program a professor introduced her to radio and she fell in love. She has since reported for KBGA, the University of Montana’s college radio station and Montana’s PBS Newsbrief. She was a finalist in a national in-depth radio reporting competition for an investigatory piece she produced on campus rape. She also produced in-depth reports on wind energy and local food for Montana Public Radio. She is very excited to be working in Oklahoma City, and you can hear her work on all things from education to agriculture right here on KOSU.
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