Teacher walkout continues into week two

by Antonio Miles April 11, 2018, 11:22
Teacher walkout continues into week two

The president of the Oklahoma Teachers Association said the walkouts will continue into next week as teachers demand more funding for schools, CNN reported.

State lawmakers have approved almost $450 million in new taxes and other revenues to help fund teachers' raise pay and boost other education spending since the walkout began on April 2, but the union is pushing for more action to raise overall spending by $600 million each year. "I'm hoping they don't regress and we can catch up when we get back". "Everything is in their corner".

"The amount of skills and knowledge already lost to other states due to the situation is most likely irreplaceable, and that means the children, and ultimately the state, has lost", said Ferrell.

As Oklahoma teachers go into their second week of protest, she said the stakes are higher for them.

Republican lawmakers said they have made major moves to boost education spending and it may be hard to find more money.

Fallin, a lame-duck governor in her final year, has had scant success in recent years pushing her agenda, despite overwhelming GOP majorities in both chambers.

This week, the Oklahoma Education Association is asking Governor Mary Fallin to veto the repeal of a hotel/motel tax that was part of the $447 million tax increase signed into law last week.

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"If it's one more day or two more days or a week or whatever it is, were here", said Edmond teacher Robin Sheetz.

Meanwhile, dozens of school districts have announced they will be closed on Monday, including Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Deer Creek, and Blanchard.

But the OEA was livid about another Senate move: the repeal of a hotel and motel tax that it said would be paid by mostly nonresidents and would add millions in revenue.

Sharica Cole, Ben Franklin Science Academy staffer, said she felt enthused by the show of support. A fellow with the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy described it as "a tax cut for Kentucky's richest people paired with a tax increase for the middle class and the poor".

"We stand united. We fight, and they're not going to divide us", said Sharita Stalnaker, an Edmond teacher. Supporters of the bill said the changes are necessary to save the state's pension systems.

But the strike continued, with educators calling for a $10,000 pay increase over three years.

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