Thousands of Oklahoma educators rally at Capitol for increased education funding

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Thousands of Oklahoma educators rally at Capitol for increased education funding

Oklahoma teachers walked off the job on Monday, closing schools statewide and surrounding the Capitol to demand pay raises and more funding for a school system reeling from a decade of budget cuts. "So this being a prolonged effort is really important and the teachers have been great knowing what they ask for".

"Stop the war on public education!"

The rally began before 9 a.m. outside the Kentucky Education Association building just blocks from the Capitol complex.

"I have to work multiple jobs, but those kids, they don't have a choice, " said Oklahoma teacher Hannah Fernandez. Oklahoma's public school teachers are clearly fed up with the status quo in the Sooner State.

The strike by some of the lowest-paid educators in the nation came the same day that Kentucky teachers flooded that state's Capitol to protest changes to pensions.

And there's no end to the walkout in sight.

North Rock Creek Superintendent Blake Moody, who could not be reached for comment Monday, told the Shawnee News-Star that schools in his district would remain open but send a delegation of teachers - about seven - to lobby the Legislature on the district's behalf.

In Oklahoma City, where thousand of protesting teachers gathered at the Capitol on Monday, Katrina Ruff, a local teacher, carried a sign that read, "Thanks to West Virginia".

All of these teacher walkout supporters said they would return through the week until there are changes in the Oklahoma education system. They have been trying to get raises for themselves and for school staff members, in addition to more funding for educational programs. Nonetheless, teachers are still striking in support of higher salaries and more state revenue. She and her students normally take good parts from several desks to create one that's usable, she said. Rob Standridge's office. He also voted against the teacher pay raise bill.

Jana Kelley, a special education teacher at Commerce Middle School, said her No. 1 reason for protesting is a lack of funding on a daily basis for her students.

"It's day-by-day, depending upon the Legislature fulfilling their promise", Priest said.

Donna Pritchett, a librarian at Lincoln Elementary School in Pryor, Oklahoma, said her school's library has leaked in the same spots for more than five years. "Copies are limited in schools to maybe 30 a week".

In Kentucky, teachers are protesting a pension reform bill that abruptly passed the state House and Senate last week. "Nothing. You don't matter.' But we matter, and our kids matter". "We are prepared to let it take as long as it has to take".

Kentucky's state pension plan is 56 percent funded, according to the Associated Press.

New hires will have to enter a hybrid cash balance plan, in which members contribute a specified amount into their account.

"I think the Republican strategy is to wait the teachers out", Walke said.

Some teachers said they plan to sit in on the legislative session while the others protest around the state capital.

In anticipation of the teacher walkout, many Oklahoma public school districts, including those in the largest districts of Oklahoma City and Tulsa, canceled classes for Monday. Those teachers were joined by many more colleagues from across the state who were on spring break. We need to lift education funding up by about $200 million to get to a five-day school week, to get to class sizes that teachers can actually teach kids, to have textbooks that say the current president, not President Clinton.

With budget cuts and teacher shortages, some classrooms have had to host more students than in previous years.

"It's just an outright assault on public education". She notes that these laws aren't necessarily the cause of an increase in funding, but bluer states that have them typically spend more on education anyway.

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