Oklahoma Teacher Walkout Will Continue Into Next Week

But a top teachers union leader said Thursday that he did not believe the measures under consideration would be enough to end the strike.

"What I think is unsafe is when you have unsubstantiated rumors being floated around, in a way that attempts to delegitimize the message of these educators and supporters at the state capitol", Kiesel said.

These students are the products of our teachers and our classrooms. Teachers in West Virginia took similar steps last month.

The bill would affect new teachers and move them to a hybrid cash-balance plan rather than traditional pensions, and would limit new sick days that teachers can put toward their retirement.

But many lawmakers say that money won't flow to schools until next year because the governor has already approved the education budget. In fact, Oklahoma Republican Gov. Mary Fallin went so far in belittling protestors' financial needs that she compared the teachers who walked out to spoiled teens who want better cars. Almost all the revenue generated from both measures will be earmarked for public education. After Republicans there approved massive personal income tax cuts beginning in 2012, budget shortfalls put a lid on education funding increases.

"When teachers feel they've been heard, I think that that is when school boards will know that they have fully supported their teachers who are advocating for the kids in their schools", she said.

Oklahoma Education Association President Alicia Priest told teachers rallying at the Capitol that lawmakers must eliminate a capital gains tax exemption and the governor must veto a repeal of a proposed lodging tax to end the protests.

Purcell Public Schools was scheduled to remain closed through Wednesday.

On Wednesday, amid mounting teacher protests, Oklahoma's House of Representatives passed a bill that will give the state's education system the first year of proceeds collected from a sales tax that's being imposed upon third-party sellers like Amazon.

Teachers picket around the Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City. The teachers union has called for an additional classroom funding of $75 million. Their advocacy efforts have forced numerous largest school districts across the state to close their doors.

Several districts said they would close on Monday due to the strike including Oklahoma City and Tulsa public schools, the state's two largest districts.

The association is calling for almost $1.5 billion in increased spending over three years. Oklahoma teacher Alberto Morejon wrote Thursday morning in Oklahoma Teacher Walkout - The Time Is Now!

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Meanwhile, thousands of teachers, students and their supporters thronged the state capitol for a fifth day, packing the hallways and chanting in the rotundas.

Support education by supporting students. "If [children] have trauma going on in their lives at home, and [Department of Human Services] doesn't have enough case workers or foster care to help them out", she said, "then they're not in place where they're prepared to learn the next day".

State funding for Oklahoma's public schools has decreased by about 9 percent since 2008, The Oklahoman reported.

Arizona educators and others are showing support for a push to increase classroom funding and teacher pay with "walk-in" protests outside Phoenix-area schools. Republican Gov. Doug Ducey has said he is sticking to a 1 percent increase.

Even with the proposed pay hike, teachers' salaries are still devastatingly low, despite being years into the economic "recovery".

Some Oklahoma educators and their supporters have begun a 110-mile march to urge state lawmakers to increase funding for classrooms.

As a outcome of low pay at home and better opportunities across state lines, Oklahoma is grappling with a teacher shortage that has forced some school districts to cut curricula, adopt a four-day school week and enlist almost 2,000 emergency-certified replacements.

In Kentucky, all public schools were closed Monday, according to the Courier Journal - some because of a rally in Frankfurt, but most because of spring break.

On Tuesday, Republican Gov. Mary Fallin signed part of the 2019 fiscal year appropriations bill, allocating almost $2.9 billion for K-12 schools - a almost 20 percent increase over current funding levels.

The National Education Association says Oklahoma ranks 47th among states and the District of Columbia in public school revenue per student and Oklahoma's average teacher salaries ranked 49th before the raises.

"For years, my profession has been under siege by our legislature".

  • Adam Floyd