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 school funding portion was quite a bit less than we asked for". Rep. Bobby Cleveland, R-Lexington, is one of those lawmakers. "I'm hoping for the best for everybody.students first of course but the district, the whole state of Oklahoma and it just continues the whole nation". But it also pursued tax cuts during the economic recovery that followed, dropping income taxes and reducing the gross production tax on oil and gas companies.
The Senate only passed three of the 12 bills in the plan, rejecting a $5 per night fee on hotel and motel rooms and is expected to vote on the others - which include pay raises for public employees and education support staff - before the end of the week. "If not, classes will resume Thursday, April 5", said Aaron McColloch, the district's spokesman.
Late this afternoon.Governor Mary Fallin signed it into law.
"The state needs to learn how to handle their money", he said. The measure has been described as "the largest teacher pay raise in the history of the state", according to CNN. I'm proud of our state. "Our school is about community and we take pride in that, but also our kids are very important to us and we are fighting for them".
In Kentucky, teachers are also striking in order to fight changes to their pensions plans.
Are teachers actually getting a pay raise? Oklahoma teachers say it's not enough, however, and they still plan to strike next week. Teachers will receive a $6,100 pay raise on average in the upcoming school year. The regional average was $48,450.
Still have questions about what the teacher pay raise is, who it impacts and how it's being paid for can be confusing, just as tracking what happens at the state capitol on a day-to-day basis.
"Some are looking at using Monday as a celebration day to come to the Capitol and thank the governor and the Legislature for passing such a historic measure", he said.
The last time there was a walkout for the district was in 1990. "I can't tell you how many teachers have said 'I would sacrifice any raise if my classroom was fully funded, if I had everything I needed for my students, '" Ferguson-Palmer said.
The Tulsa World reports that the Tulsa district has announced that its schools will be shut down Monday so teachers can go to a rally at the state capital in Oklahoma City. "Lawmakers have left funding on the table that could be used immediately to help Oklahoma students".
Cobb reported Friday that 93 percent of about 1,000 teachers and other workers he polled said they wanted to walk out on Monday and 83 percent "thought we should stay out of school beyond Monday".
Sapulpa Public Schools will be closed April 2, 3, and 4.
"Basically, how are their babies going to eat while they're doing this walkout to stand up for them", McGavock said. "I don't trust. If you've got a bill that's going to raise revenue, put it on the bill at the same time and let's get something done", Williams said.