Abril 25, 2018

Oklahoma teachers vow to stage second day of walkouts

05 Abril 2018, 05:55 | Martinez Canez

Teachers in two states shut schools over pay

'Our Kids Deserve Better. Our Teachers Deserve Better': Thousands Rally For Education in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma Monday, OEA (Oklahoma Education Association) President Alicia Priest hailed a budget proposal to provide an inadequate pay increase complaining that the regressive taxes on gasoline, diesel fuel, cigarettes and gaming didn't go far enough.

But critics say teachers should be in the classroom and should not be walking off their jobs.

The marches around the building, clever signs and large gatherings are the most visible part of the ongoing Oklahoma teacher walkout, but the real action is going on inside.

Emily addresses Governor Mary Fallin's comments to a CBS reporter, comparing teachers to a teenage kid wanting a better auto, and what it might take to end the walkout. A nine-day strike last month won West Virginia's teachers their first pay raise in four years.

In Oklahoma, the main forces behind educators' demands and pressure on the union to follow through were two Facebook groups: Oklahoma Teachers United (OTU) and Oklahoma Teacher Walkout -The Time is Now!

Rob Miles, a middle-school history teacher in Norman Public Schools, scoffed at the characterizations of teachers as rowdy vandals causing chaos at the Capitol.

Wednesday, educators are planning "Walk-Ins" at some schools in the Tucson area.

Teachers rally at the state capitol in Oklahoma City on April 4, 2018. South Dakota had the lowest average teacher salary of $42,025.

McLaren said, much like West Virginia, teachers have filled up "every single nook and cranny" inside the state Capitol to make their voices heard.

Fallin arrived around 10:15 a.m. Wednesday at the McAlester Regional Airport to the chants of an estimated 300 education professionals, public employees, students, and community members demanding more funding as day three of the statewide protests regarding funding for education continued a two-hour drive away at the state Capitol.

"After careful consideration of this morning's teacher survey results, and consistent input from all stakeholders, Ada City Schools will be closed Thursday, April 5, and Friday, April 6, so that teachers may continue advocacy efforts for the proper funding of public education in the state of Oklahoma", he said in a prepared statement. Teachers have not said when the walkout will end. Student speakers described tattered textbooks, malfunctioning computers and broken classroom furnishings and urged lawmakers to increase spending on their education. "I honestly think legislators expected us to show up Monday, thank them and go home", he said. Public education unions are traditionally a bastion of the Democratic party.

Some teachers had walked out, prompting schools to close, while some of their colleagues were on spring break. Similar protests were held in Phoenix, Mesa and Gilbert.

In Arizona, teachers have asked for a 20% pay raise. Republican Gov. Doug Ducey has said he is sticking to a 1 percent increase. Some are posted on the "Oklahoma Teacher Walkout - The Time Is Now!"

Some Oklahoma educators and their supporters have begun a 110-mile march to urge state lawmakers to increase funding for classrooms. While the bill removes explicit funding for charter schools, several districts are moving ahead with their own plans to open charter schools by 2019.

Budget negotiators unveiled a spending plan Monday that includes increased spending for the main funding formula for K-12 schools and restored money for school buses that the state's Republican governor had proposed eliminating.

In Kentucky, teachers rallied at the state Capitol in Frankfort Monday after the Legislature passed cuts to pensions for new teachers. In particular, they wanted more funding for support staff at their schools, like guidance counselors and nurses. "Teachers now recognize that we have the ability to get things done, so they're trying to press us to actually get it done".

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