Thursday, 19 July, 2018

Oklahoma Highway Patrol thanks teachers participating in walkout

Teachers fill the house as they participate in a walkout and protest at the Oklahoma State Capitol building on Thursday These are Oklahoma teachers' demands as strike extends a 7th day
Lisa Bryan | 11 April, 2018, 13:59

Teachers across the state of Oklahoma participated in a walkout the last two weeks that is sparking national attention for the neglect of the state legislature.

Lawmakers in the Republican-controlled legislature said it may be hard to find more money after approving almost $450 million in new taxes and other revenues since the walkout began on April 2 to help fund pay raises for teachers and boost spending.

Among those attending the rally last Monday.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Oklahoma teachers are paid nearly $20,000 less than the national average salary for teachers.

One group of teacher walked the 100 miles from Tulsa to the capitol in Oklahoma City, to draw attention to their plight. Authorities said she surrendered to the Clinton Police Department.

Teachers students and parents form a constant line around the building as they participate in a walkout and protest at the Oklahoma State Capitol building on Thursday

They also want lawmakers to implement a hotel tax that would bring in an estimated $50 million. A union spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment. Yesterday afternoon, GOP lawmakers said a measure to eliminate the state's capital gains exemption would not be heard this session.

The walkout comes after the West Virginia teachers' strike catalyzed a movement of teachers demanding higher pay.

McDugle said he had voted to increase teacher funding once already, but wouldn't vote to do it again.

The nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said Oklahoma's inflation-adjusted per student funding fell by 28.2 percent between 2008 and 2018, the biggest reduction of any state.

Opponents of the tax hikes, including Oklahoma Taxpayers United, argue that lawmakers could boost education spending by cutting bureaucracy and waste rather than raising taxes.


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