11 April, 2018
Teachers are seeking more funding for their students and classrooms. Teachers are demanding a $10,000 raise and a $5,000 raise for support staff, teachers having been given only a $5,000 raise, with $8,000 for veteran teachers but nothing for support staff, in a recently passed bill.
Some teachers walked 15 miles Monday to get to Oklahoma City.
Keri Hoffman, 35, an algebra teacher at Clinton Middle School, was arrested Sunday for multiple counts of rape involving a student, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation reports.
While teachers have the support of the AFT and the OEA, last week, the Oklahoma State School Boards Association releases a statement encouraging teachers to go back to work.
The teacher walkout has rolled into Day 6 with momentum carried over from the weekend.
This week, the podcast team talks about the primary story in Oklahoma: an ongoing teacher walkout that has packed the Capitol with educators advocating for increased education funding.
"Momentum is on our side", president Alicia Priest said in a video posted late Monday night on the Oklahoma Education Association's Facebook page. Sulphur schools said they will remain closed until at least Thursday.
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What will it take for this to end? But if the walkout progresses past then, there might not be a competition. That ignited protests in other Republican-led states, including Kentucky and Arizona.
For long-time teachers, the protest reminds them of the one in 1990, which they thought would never need to be repeated.
That bill, which would affect new teachers, is at Gov. Matt Bevin's desk.
The unions insist the funding crisis must be resolved by "working within the system" on a state-by-state basis, which invariably means supporting increases in regressive taxes or cuts in other vital services to make up for trillions being squandered at every level of the government to fund bank bailouts, corporate tax cuts and endless wars for big business.
Oklahoma is one of eight states that has some sort of preferred tax treatment of capital gains, among them Oklahoma neighbor Arkansas, according to Scott Drenkard of the Washington-based Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank that promotes simple and transparent tax policies. "They don't have everything they need to give us an education".
Bevin has until legislators return to session April 13 to sign the bill.
"We stand united. We fight, and they're not going to divide us", said Sharita Stalnaker, an Edmond teacher.