Oklahoma teachers got raises, but they are still marching on the Capitol

Ok. gov. compares striking teachers to teen who 'wants a better car'

The district sent a bus to the Capitol to hand out free meals to kids 18 from any school or district.

The walkout, now in its third day, is the latest upheaval by teachers in a Republican-dominated state after a successful West Virginia strike last month ended with a pay raise.

Schools were shut down in Oklahoma because of the strike. They were protesting for cuts in pay and benefits.

According to a report from the National Education Association, Georgia ranks 24th in the country for teacher salaries.

Those leaving are often teachers who have several years of experience and generally hold a master's degree or higher, according to a survey from Theresa Cullen, an associate professor of educational psychology at the University of Oklahoma.

"They never made me feel like I was in an underfunded school", explained Farzaneh.

She said the presence would be "incredibly helpful" to help pressure the Republican-controlled Legislature to act. And fundamentally, their rebellion isn't about wages, but respect for themselves and the young people they educate.

"There are way too many of us to ignore", she said. "Our students are being robbed of a properly funded education". Some are posted on the "Oklahoma Teacher Walkout - The Time Is Now!"

Not even educators like Rae Lovelace are spared.

"I have requested new textbooks for a few years with no real hopes of getting any", she told CNN. Thousands have thronged the Capitol for three straight days seeking more money for the classrooms.

Benge witnesses this grim civics lesson playing out locally in her small city of Enid.

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.

And on Tuesday, she signed another measure that gives a pay bump to school support staff, like janitors and teaching aides. And the students are coming from households facing parallel deficits in welfare and healthcare supports, due to state's massive divestment from family social services, on top of education cuts. They rallied under a banner strung across the capitol steps reading, "YOU MAKE US SICK!"

Grace Fox, a junior at Edmond Memorial, says she speaks for many other students who crave knowledge but are shackled by the constraints of low education funding. Do I have to feed them?

Oklahoma lawmakers will convene rare Friday sessions as protesting school teachers continue to fill the state Capitol and demand more funding for public education. It has continued in the conservative-led states of Kentucky and Arizona. The uprisings evoke a decades-old tradition of teachers' labor militancy. Oklahoma is among the bottom three states in terms of teachers' salaries. The political constraints on workers' collective actions-which may presage the gutting of public-sector union protections in the upcoming Janus Supreme Court case-could have a radicalizing impact.

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.

"Our students need their teachers", Tinney said. We're here for chairs that don't break when we sit in them. "Now be happy and go away".

Finally, the budget bill provides lucrative new tax giveaways to Kentucky corporations which will drain $80 million from the state coffers over the next two years.

Cameron Olbert, a sophomore at the Classen School of Advanced Studies in Oklahoma City, said he first became politically conscious when budget cuts cost his school its debate coach.

In this year's budget battle, Benge adds, "The pay raise is much appreciated, but it is one block of accomplishment in a marathon of problems".


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