Kentucky teachers rallying in Frankfort

03 April, 2018, 05:11 | Author: Jason Torres
  • Your guide to the Oklahoma teacher walkout

Educators say years of austerity in many states have led to the stagnation of salaries and the hollowing-out of school systems.

School districts in Oklahoma City and the Tulsa areas have canceled Tuesday classes.

"My kids were with their teacher nearly as much of their waking time as they were with me". "They're here for resources, here for desks".

"It seems like these folks want to privatize everything", said Mike Haile, a retired teacher from Henderson County, in western Kentucky.

"It is a heartfelt thing". "This is been going on an very bad long time, and we're not really being heard". "We are here for the long haul", Alicia Priest, head of the Oklahoma Education Association, told a cheering crowd outside the statehouse.

West Virginia's nine-day strike resulted in a 5 percent raise for teachers.

Oklahoma teacher Jessica Lightle told CNN she was striking because of school conditions in her rural city of McAlester, where students created an online video showing the state of disrepair - pointing to leaking ceilings and displaying textbooks that fell apart when opened. About 200 from Carter County made the trip to listen to speakers and march around the Capitol.

A small group of teachers and school employees had already gathered early Monday outside the Capitol Annex, where lawmakers have their offices.

"It wasn't but a few years after House Bill 1017 was passed that we saw class sizes returned to larger sizes", Wolfe said. We need to make sure the Legislature internalizes the importance of putting our kids and families first, as well as those across the Commonwealth.

Frigid conditions didn't deter teachers from protesters at the state Capitol on Monday, the last weekday of the Kentucky legislative session.

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Oklahoma is among the bottom three states in teachers' salaries, and until Thursday, had not received a state raise in a decade.

"That'll be up to the teachers, but I hope that they can come up here, say "thank you" on Monday and go back to the classrooms", Fallin said. Those teachers were joined by many more colleagues from across the state who were on spring break.

"There is not a member on that (school) board that fails to support educational opportunities for students not only in our school but really beyond that, across the state", he said of Stroud. She said she anxious that many teachers would end up leaving Oklahoma for states with higher pay. Oklahoma is losing qualified teachers every day. In Kentucky, schools were closed either for spring vacation or to allow educators to protest in the state capital, Frankfort, the state's teachers union said. "Ironically, conservative lawmakers who cut back these laws could inadvertently cause even more public-sector strikes".

The $400 million in new funding for teacher pay approved by the Oklahoma Legislature last week was about half the amount sought by the Oklahoma Education Association.

The funding would raise by $5,000 the pay of teachers beginning their career, and provide a raise of almost $8,000 for those with 25 years' experience, lawmakers said. "Because of their work, it is harder for teachers to vote on the day of elections, so we are trying to get the word out so they understand their absentee and early voting options".

According to National Education Association estimates for 2016, Oklahoma ranked 48th, followed by MS at 49 and South Dakota at 50, in terms of average USA classroom teacher salary.

Lyndsey Slaughter, a Bixby Public Schools teacher, said she's thankful for the pay raise, but "when you spend your own money on supplies, you don't have much left at the end of the month".

Thousands of teachers from across Kentucky fill the state Capitol to rally for increased funding and to protest last minute changes to their state funded pension system, Monday, April 2, 2018, in Frankfort, Ky. That obligation has not been met yet. Repeal of the hotel tax reduces the total package by about $45 million.

Many Oklahoma schools were closed Monday and will remain shut Tuesday to honor the teacher protests.

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