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Oklahoma teachers reject funding bill, prepare to strike

Oklahoma teachers reject funding bill, prepare to strike

Oklahoma teachers reject funding bill, prepare to strike

Included in the legislation is an increase in taxes on oil and gas production, cigarettes and motor fuel and a bill that limits itemized deductions for Oklahoma taxpayers. The House already passed the plan, which is created to generate about $450 million for lawmakers to spend, and Gov. Mary Fallin said she "absolutely" plans to sign it.

"I want to thank our legislative leaders from both parties for their tremendously hard work on these measures", Fallin said."I appreciate their long hours, and I commend the fearless men and women in the House and Senate for their courageous action in voting for these bills".

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) signed a bill Thursday with a $6,100 pay increase for teachers.

While some Oklahoma school administrators and board members are giddy over the infusion of new cash, many rank-and-file teachers are demanding that all of their needs are met before they agree to stop a walkout.

According to the National Education Association, the average salary of a teacher in Oklahoma ranks 49th among the us states and District of Columbia with South Dakota and MS the only states reporting lower.

Oklahoma teachers were inspired by the successful strike in West Virginia, where educators similarly exerted pressure on recalcitrant GOP lawmakers to win a major victory. It is the largest teacher pay raise in the history of the state.

In both Arizona and Oklahoma, teachers are mulling whether the current offer from the Legislature is enough to avert a work stoppage. The union says the state will have to increase salaries and school funding significantly if it wants to stop losing teachers to Arkansas and other nearby states that pay better. Oklahoma was also ranked 47th in expenditures for public K-12 students per student in 2016, according to the National Education Association.

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More experienced classroom teachers would receive an even larger raise based on years of service and certification.

Tens of thousands of teachers and supporters are expected to descend on the state capitol on Monday for the teacher walkout. "With 91 school districts having a four-day work week and every school district in the state reporting that they are offering fewer courses and electives because of the teacher shortage - Oklahoma's children have been the victims in these budget cuts all along".

The last time there was a walkout for the district was in 1990. For example, certified teachers with 25 years experience could see their pay increase by almost $8,000 to top out at $51,232, according to a budget analysis. "Lawmakers have left funding on the table that could be used immediately to help Oklahoma students". "We are in the day to day involvement with these kids and we also know how far we've gone without that funding", said Acevedo. On average, they'll get about $6,000, but many of them are still walking out of their classrooms on Monday.

Sapulpa Public Schools will be closed April 2, 3, and 4.

"This is a very historic day in Oklahoma", said Fallin.

Approving tax hikes in Oklahoma is extraordinarily hard, requiring a three-fourths supermajority in both chambers.

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