Published: Thu, April 05, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Oklahoma teachers on strike: "We're doing this for our kids"

Oklahoma teachers on strike:

The marchers plan to walk from Tulsa to Oklahoma City, the state capital, to join thousands of teachers who have been protesting all week for higher pay and more resources, such as new textbooks.

Preston Leehan, a construction worker who was surveying gas lines Wednesday in Oklahoma City, said the $6,000-per-year raise that teachers received sounds like a pretty good deal for a public-sector employee.

"Significant revenue-raising measures were approved to make this pay raise and additional school funding possible", the Republican said in a statement.

First, in right-to-work states, teachers lack codified procedures for grieving issues like low pay.

Joining Castrop at the statehouse Tuesday were high school English teachers Jimmie McBride and Jade Vafadar.

Damer says she appreciates the raise lawmakers gave teachers last week, but her school still needs more money for new books, technology and additional staff to reduce class sizes. He said these threats were not coming from Oklahoma teachers, but people in the Capitol from other states.

Anderson said he recognized the fact that Ada's teachers are passionate about making the case for better school funding at the state Capitol.

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Veteran residents of the working-class area, where the migrant population is concentrated, had felt slighted by the deal. Under the agreement, a minimum of 16,250 migrants would have instead been resettled in Western nations.

Teachers complain that there have been many years of austerity for education in many states, which has produced stagnation in salaries.

Thousands of Oklahoma teachers showed up to the state Capitol on Monday, and this time they weren't fighting for a pay raise.

"Hold them accountable and walk until you get what you need for our students and public education here in Oklahoma", said Moss as the crowd gathered to head out on historic Route 66.

"There gets to a point where you say, no more", said Eskelsen Garcia of the National Education Association. "In addition, I am certain that the district's advocacy planning committee will develop a framework for advocacy that will allow us to continue to work for positive outcomes". He said that his participation in the Frankfort rally was to spread the message that legislators should fully fund public education. "The answer is real structural reform ... with everything in government".

Latta was the only Pontotoc County school district that remained closed Tuesday for the strike. "I feel like they're trying to go toward charter schools, and charter schools are not for all students". The protests continued on Wednesday. Teachers there have spoken out online and in the news about shabby, outdated textbooks amid almost a decade of declining school spending, caused partly by state tax cuts.

According to Curry, education has taken some hits lately. Its average salary for a high school teacher is $42,460, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data.

"What a wonderful outpouring of support, for public education", Ada 7th grade english teacher Leslie Lnadrum said.

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The rally happened after hundreds of teachers called in sick Friday to protest last-minute changes to their pension system.

The AEU Sahuarita group will only participate in the April 11 Walk-In if all agree, she said. Many of his colleagues wait tables, mow lawns or drive for ride-share services to make ends meet.

"I made a decision to teach because I felt it would be a job I could do for a couple of years and I could give back to my community", Bowman said.

He has been able to stay because his wife, a designer, earns considerably more than he does.

Rob Miles, a middle-school history teacher in Norman Public Schools, scoffed at the characterizations of teachers as rowdy vandals causing chaos at the Capitol.

Arizona teachers are still mulling the possibility of calling a strike but haven't decided yet. "They are not going to fight for their education unless we are their voices", said elementary school teacher Kayla Melton.

It's still not clear if the passage of those measures, or another to require certain online vendors to pay sales tax, will be enough to placate teachers and get them to return to the classroom.

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