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Oklahoma teachers demand more after lawmakers approve $40M

Oklahoma teachers demand more after lawmakers approve $40M”

Oklahoma public school teachers are among the lowest paid in the us and the state's education system has seen inflation-adjusted general funding per student drop by about 28 precent over the past decade, according to Reuters.

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.

Despite efforts by the unions to wear down strikers by isolating their struggle and limiting it to impotent appeals to a hostile state legislature, teachers have remained resolute in their demand for a $10,000 pay increase and restoration of school funding to pre-2008 levels.

Republican Gov. Mary Fallin approved teacher pay raises of about $6,100, but many educators say their classrooms need more money.

Yesterday afternoon, GOP lawmakers said a measure to eliminate the state's capital gains exemption would not be heard this session. Before that, Oklahoma teachers had not received a raise in a decade. "Fighting the fight to get more funding", said Kristy Cooper, a Mid-Del teacher. "And, I think they'll be surprised because we're teachers, we're patient people". "They were not looking forward to the walkout, but it's important".

The push from teachers for a walkout seemed to grow following the March 21 teacher sickout that closed nine West Valley schools, and again after Oklahoma teachers walked out on April 2.

"If the other schools are struggling to get the numbers, that's gonna really hurt what we have in the blood banks", Mr. Estabrook told KTUL. "So, we're going to continue doing what's best". "These kids are being cheated and Oklahoma is reaping what they've sown for our education and our children".

The Trump administration's budget, which was passed with Democratic support, included $400 million for charter school grants, a $58 million or 17 percent increase over the previous year.

Leaders of the Arizona Educators United say they could announce a date for action at any time. Supporters of the bill said the changes are necessary to save the state's pension systems.

One group of teacher walked the 100 miles from Tulsa to the capitol in Oklahoma City, to draw attention to their plight. She said the strike will continue until the state increases funding for basic needs such as textbooks, supplies, chairs and desks.



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