Booing teachers pack Oklahoma House gallery

Oklahoma teachers hold second day of walk-out protests
Thousands of teachers and staff on strike across Oklahoma and Kentucky, Arizona might be next
Author

04 April, 2018

"We must be responsible not to neglect other areas of need in the state, such as corrections and health and human services, as we continue to consider additional education funding measures", the Republican said.

"I try not to cry because it's been a long time coming", said Kimberly Miller, who teaches at Santa Fe High School in Edmond.

Morgan Walker, a chemistry teacher at Rockcastle County High School in Kentucky, told Mother Jones that her motivation for protesting is simple. For them, the $50 million increase in general education funding signed last week isn't enough. "Never have I ever thought" that he'd be negotiating with lawmakers on the one side and teachers on the other, he says.

Ahead of the rally, some teachers had participated in a "sickout" where they collectively called in sick, which led to some schools being closed. "This isn't just about salaries or money", she says. In addition, some schools do not have electricity because of unpaid bills. The spending and taxing proposals cleared the Senate on Monday and went to the House, which was expected to vote on the measures later Monday.

These strikes follow a similar nine day protest in West Virginia last month, which resulted in a five-percent pay raise - making it the state's first raise for teachers in almost four years.

"They are counting on you to go away silently", Priest told the state's teachers.

She said that she believes companies don't come to Oklahoma due to the dismal state of its public education system.

Oklahoma is dealing with a severe teacher shortage, and many districts have moved to four-day school weeks in order to save money.

Tens of thousands of teachers, parents, and students standing shoulder to shoulder at the capital in Oklahoma City. "I feel like they're choosing oil and gas over education", one public school teacher told Tulsa World.

Union officials did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

More news: NCAA Tournament: A sanity check as Duke, Kansas, Villanova win

Thousands of teachers and education supporters are marching in Oklahoma City, and schools all over the state are closed ahead of a rally at the state Capitol for more education funding.

According to the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, adjustments to inflation in the state, have led to the state spending per student at almost 30 percent over the course of the past decade.

On Thursday, Governor Fallin signed HB 1010, which has raised the teachers' pay by anywhere between 15 percent to 18 percent, with an average of US$6,100. Below is the statement from Fallin, who signed a bill last week that gave teachers and state employees a raise.

Oklahoma City Public Schools announced its campuses would be shut through Tuesday.

The bill's passage has thrown the teacher walkout in jeopardy in some school districts that have pulled their support of it, leaving teachers nervous to abandon the classroom.

Overall, tax cuts like these inevitably affect education budgets; state governments fund about half of the cost of public schools, with local taxes and federal programs kicking in the rest. Dozens have been rallying in the state capitol to demand a 20 percent pay increase. But Monday's event is shaping up as their biggest event as lawmakers try to reach agreement on a new budget.

"Well, teachers in the state of Kentucky do not have access to Social Security when we retire, even if we had paid into that system prior to becoming teachers, so this is our only means of support for ourselves when we are of old age", explained Kentucky teacher Angie Buschle. Oklahoma is a right-to-work state, which means that employees don't have to join the unions there. President Alicia Priest said in a video to members kicking off the strike. But some districts not on break had canceled classes Monday because of teachers traveling to the Capitol.

Monday's walkout is part of a wave of protests from educators furious over stagnant wages and cuts to education funding.

A group of west Kentucky teachers protested the passage of a pension reform bill on the steps of the state capitol building Monday.

Sharpe said children are the reason she drove more than two hours to protest in the cold.


More news


  • Gates Knew Campaign Contact was Russian Intelligence, Says Mueller Document

    Gates Knew Campaign Contact was Russian Intelligence, Says Mueller Document

    Lawyer John Dowd (R) is met with reporters as he exits Manhattan Federal Court in New York, NY, U.S., May 11, 2011. She added waiving their potential sentences is "not being now discussed at the White House".
    No charges in Alton Sterling's fatal shooting

    No charges in Alton Sterling's fatal shooting

    Sterling, 37, was shot and killed by one of two police officers who confronted him outside a convenience store in July 2016. Their suit alleges the shooting fit a pattern of racist behaviour and excessive force by the Baton Rouge police.
    NCAA team lifted by 98-year-old nun, its biggest fan

    NCAA team lifted by 98-year-old nun, its biggest fan

    For this reason, the first game of the regional semifinals is one of the more intriguing of the slate. The Missouri Valley champions broke the school record for wins set by the 1963 NCAA championship team.
  • Missing Model Adea Shabani's Body Found in Shallow Grave in North California

    Missing Model Adea Shabani's Body Found in Shallow Grave in North California

    Discrepancies in Spotz's alibi raised warning bells but he disappeared before police could track him down for further questioning. Hayes said police began searching for Spotz in hopes of examining his Toyota Tacoma pickup for possible clues.
    EC sets up committee to probe alleged leak of Karnataka poll date

    EC sets up committee to probe alleged leak of Karnataka poll date

    Karnataka has 4.96 crore voters and VVPAT will be used in the polls, the Chief Election Commissioner said. The counting date turned out to be wrong as the EC announced that the votes will be counted on May 15 .
    Shanghai crude oil futures jump more than 6%

    Shanghai crude oil futures jump more than 6%

    Speculators are driving prices higher because of the fear of the unknown, but gains are being capped by fear of the known. China's yuan-denominated crude oil futures have launched in Shanghai, and were up sharply in the first day of trading.
  • 05:35Jeff Sessions Assigned Federal Prosecutor to Probe Alleged FBI, DoJ Wrongdoing

    05:35Jeff Sessions Assigned Federal Prosecutor to Probe Alleged FBI, DoJ Wrongdoing

    Sessions stopped short of appointing a special counsel to probe the claims, saying he would wait first for Huber's findings. Attorney Huber, given his reputation, will conduct an independent and thorough investigation.
    China launches crude oil futures

    China launches crude oil futures

    The country also hopes that yuan-denominated futures contracts will help its currency play a bigger role in the global economy. Crude oil futures slipped on Monday, but losses were capped by a rebound in stock markets and escalating Saudi-Iran tensions.
    Warriors star to have MRI exam on MCL 'strain'

    Warriors star to have MRI exam on MCL 'strain'

    He rehabs his ankle for the last couple of weeks, gets that strong, and then the knee goes. "It's like a juju or something on us". Our last news headline is Jordan Bell going to Steph Curry for advice on how to deal with his ankle injury.
  • SpaceX launches 10 satellites, but United States dollars  6 million nose cone crashes

    SpaceX launches 10 satellites, but United States dollars 6 million nose cone crashes

    You can also assemble a rocket in a game-like AR interactive for an up-close look at what it takes to launch and land a rocket. SpaceX plans to use the same first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket that was used for the Iridium-3 launch in October.

    Debris from falling Chinese space station could land in southern MI

    China's prototype eight-tonne spacecraft Tiangong-1 is likely to crash on Earth this week or by the first week of April. But even among controlled re-entries, the upcoming, uncontrolled descent of tiny Tiangong-1 will be a blip.
    Heavy, wet snow expected to continue into evening

    Heavy, wet snow expected to continue into evening

    Despite the ridging beginning to build in, a weak low and front are expected to make it into the Southeast late in the weekend. The best chance of rain is likely to take place on Friday with mostly cloudy skies and highs continuing into the lower 60s.