Red-state teacher rebellion hits Oklahoma, grows in Arizona

Red-state teacher rebellion hits Oklahoma, grows in Arizona

Red-state teacher rebellion hits Oklahoma, grows in Arizona

The union has demanded a $10,000 pay raise for teachers over three years, $5,000 for support personnel and a $75 million increase in funding, and the package approved by the House would not be enough to satisfy all of their demands.

Celeste Fox, a 26-year educator who teaches second grade at nearby Westwood Elementary School, says it's time to stem the long-rolling tide of education budget cuts in Oklahoma.

On Wednesday, the Republican-controlled Oklahoma legislature gave final approval to a $447 million tax increase package to raise the salaries of teachers and school support staff across the state.

The measure, though welcomed by union leaders as a step in the right direction, still accounts for less than the state lost in tax revenues when it slashed gross production taxes on oil from 7 percent to 2 per cent and on horizontal drilling for shale oil to just 1 percent during the fracking boom.

Teachers in Oklahoma are planning to hold a state-wide walkout on Monday, saying a pay raise passed by the state isn't enough.

During her four years at Lone Grove High School, Anna Antuono has never seen a new textbook, most of her teachers paid for their own classroom supplies and the school lost its only Spanish teacher.

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"While this is major progress, this investment alone will not undo a decade of neglect", Priest said.

HFV Wilson Community Center Executive Director Jacob Lohse says they're expecting around 300 hundred kids next week. There is no one more important than the teacher in classroom instruction, and House Bill 1010-XX will be critical in retaining and recruiting teachers.

Oklahoma City Public Schools have already canceled classes Monday in anticipation of the walkout.

"A lot of teachers are just exhausted of the promises", said Alberto Morejon, a junior high history teacher from Stillwater, Oklahoma, who launched a teacher walkout page on Facebook that quickly reached more than 70,000 followers. "This vote is a bright light for public education in Oklahoma". Moving forward, we must continue working tirelessly together - teachers, parents, elected officials, and all Oklahomans - to restore funding to the many critical services that our children need to grow up safe, healthy, and well-prepared for the greatest success in college, careers, and life. "We have come too far to accept this offer that does nothing but put a band aid on a severe wound".

In Stillwater, teachers got an after-school jump Wednesday afternoon on the planned statewide walkout next week. "I think of it as a rope".

"We serve Southern Oklahoma, so that's what we are here to do and we are more than glad to serve them and meet their needs", Jacob Lohse said.

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