Oklahoma lawmakers refuse to bow to teachers' demands

Oklahoma lawmakers refuse to bow to teachers' demands

They were joined by parents, students and other education advocates who helped kick off the second week of a statewide teacher walkout, which has shut down hundreds of schools across the state.

Last week, the legislature passed several bills, ball and dice gaming and an Amazon tax bill, which will each bring in about $20 million for public education.

Catch episode 5 of How We Got Here by listening to the embedded audio file below or subscribing on Apple Podcasts, Podbean, Google Play and Pocket Casts. "Everything is in their corner".

Educators have not said when their walkout will end.

Oklahoma schools are closed again today for an eighth straight school day, as teachers continue to protest low teacher pay and skimpy funding. CNN reported yesterday that the teacher movement is "gaining momentum". Much of the new money was earmarked for teacher raises of about $6,100 on average. "I think most of us would prefer to be back in our classrooms doing what we went to college to do, what we love doing, but until education is a priority for this state, it looks like we are going to have to set up some couches, some furniture, maybe get some RVs in here".

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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.

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.

Teachers are seeking more funding for their students and classrooms. They also asked Governor Mary Fallin to veto the repeal of a hotel tax that is valued at an estimated $50 million. "They're not given the opportunity to make enough money to do that", she said. Supporters of the bill said the changes are necessary to save the state's pension systems. "They don't have everything they need to give us an education".

With five children on three different Muskogee Public School campuses, said she wanted to show support for teachers and push for funding for state public schools. 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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