Oklahoma schools to close for third day due to teachers' strike

Oklahoma schools to close for third day due to teachers' strike

Meanwhile, teachers in Kentucky shut down schools on Friday and Monday to protest proposed cuts to their pension plans.

During the rally at the Capitol, band teachers from across the state gathered together to perform "We're Not Gonna Take It". Most districts are out on spring break and those remaining have closed to accommodate teachers attending the rally.

"The only big change for us was that we had kids here who were in Pre-K that go through LPS who were here all day so that's what got our attendance numbers up a little". And Oklahoma happens to lead the country in cutting funding per student for education, over the past decade.

The wave of strikes in red states, mainly organized by ordinary teachers on Facebook, has caught lawmakers and sometimes the teachers' own labor unions flat-footed. "Oklahoma is better than this".

The next red state domino to fall could be Arizona. Teachers in the state are not eligible for Social Security benefits.

While West Virginia's teachers strike proved to be successful forcing lawmakers to pass a bill that gave teachers and other state employees a 5 percent pay raise, Oklahoma teachers are confident they can do the same.

A bill the state legislature passed last week offered a $6,100 raise for teachers, a gesture the OEA said was insufficient to stop the strike. The Go365 plan was canceled. Like in West Virginia, the teacher shortage means there are no replacements for striking teachers.

The situation in Kentucky is slightly different than Oklahoma. The state is struggling to keep qualified educators in classrooms because of low pay. The protest is one of several, which started in West Virginia in March, have spread across the United States like 'wildfire'.

After an estimated 30,000 education supporters demonstrated at the Capitol on Monday, Priest said, the legislature adjourned without progressing towards a funding solution for schools.

Oklahoma schools, which are funded in large part by the state budget, have been hobbled by the decline in oil and natural-gas prices - a major source of tax revenue in Oklahoma - in addition to a requirement that legislative tax increases win at least 75% approval.

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Janzen was waving a sign that read: "Hey Mary, education funding shouldn't be historic, it should be normal", in a message to the state's Republican Gov. Mary Fallin.

Rowdy Oklahoma teachers are voicing their disapproval after lawmakers failed to take up new revenue-raising measures for public school classrooms.

Teachers in the state have called attention to students' aging computers and textbooks, leaky roofs in school buildings, faulty heating systems and some districts moving to four-day school weeks to save money on electricity.

In a statement released on Monday evening, Gov. Fallin noted that she had signed legislation that allowed for $50 million " for the state aid funding formula and textbooks", which amounted to a almost 20 percent increase in appropriations for the schools. GOP leaders say other areas of state government also suffer from lack of funds.

Kentucky teachers object to plans to limit cost of living increases to 1.5 percent per year for the state's pension plan.

During Monday's rally, some teachers, angry at lawmakers who supported the bill, chanted "Vote them out".

"We're madder than hornets, and the hornets are swarming today", said Claudette Green, a retired teacher and principal.

Educators quickly mobilized in protest.

That's one of the first things Larry Cagle says on the phone.

"There's revenue out there", Priest said.

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