Oklahoma teachers to walk off job over pay, shut schools statewide

Oklahoma teachers to walk off job over pay, shut schools statewide

On Monday, April 2, the story moves on.

Teachers plan to rally in Oklahoma City on Monday morning, which has resulted in the closure of several schools across the state, including Oklahoma Public Schools, its largest district. We desperately need education in Oklahoma to be top priority. Educators in Arizona have been organizing and may strike themselves. The lack of revenue has meant many teachers have gone years without meaningful raises or adequate resources for their classrooms.

For him, that includes paying the full actuarial payment for the teacher retirement system for 2019-20, funding employee health insurance at the equivalent level payments are now, and for the state to fully fund Support Education Excellence in Kentucky, referred to as SEEK.

In the deep red state of Oklahoma, the Republican-led Legislature approved money for teacher raises and more school funding, even hiking taxes on the vaunted oil and gas industry to do it. "We will be starting a Facebook and a Twitter site called Save Eagle Arts Alternative School, and we would appreciate the community support".

However, teachers have demanded a $10,000 pay increase over three years and a $5,000 raise for support personnel like bus drivers and custodians. She said she was protesting to keep teachers in Oklahoma instead of seeing them leave for states with higher pay. This latest strike action follows a rank-and-file sickout by teachers in Kentucky and coincides with mounting demands by Arizona teachers for a statewide strike.

But for a Republican-dominated legislature to make these concessions-and agree to increased taxes by a super-majority vote of three-quarters, the first time this has happened since an anti-tax referendum passed in 1992-is an encouraging sign. "A pay raise is just a perk".

The bill, if signed, would bring Oklahoma's teacher salaries from among the lowest in the nation, to the middle of the pack.

"The State Education Minister, Rob Stokes, has been of no help whatsoever". The anti-union law passed in 2001 with the justification that the state would become more attractive to business. But hey, rich people will have really low taxes. Under the Obama administration, which pumped trillions of dollars into the financial markets after the 2008 financial crisis, federal funding for school districts was slashed by 11 percent and special education was cut by nine percent.

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The Oklahoma teachers are not the only ones unhappy.

The Oklahoma Policy Institute reported the state is losing an average of 200 teachers a month because they are unable to make ends meet amid the budget shortfall and poor salaries.

Eight in 10 teachers have considered leaving the profession due to their heavy workload, according to campaigners. "The cost of living there is very comparable, and [one former colleague] is making $14,000 more a year just by driving four or five hours down that way", one teacher told an Oklahoma news station. Teachers represented by Cagle's group want a $10,000 raise.

When I first spoke with Cagle after arriving in Oklahoma, he was driving back from a meeting with teachers in a remote area of the Oklahoma panhandle.

Ripple representatives say that the donation comes from their staff's gratitude towards the teachers who influenced them in the past.

"We're putting them on notice today that if they don't pass a budget that protects public services of Kentucky, if they don't pass a budget that provides adequate funding for the schools in the Commonwealth, then we're going to vote them out", Stephanie Winkler, president of Kentucky Education Association and a 4th-grade teacher from Madison County, Kentucky, told the crowd before leading a march from the union's headquarters around the state capitol building.

Larry was clearly exhausted, but we talked for a half an hour while he drove home.

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