Lindsay Burkhalter, an elementary school teacher with Ponca City Public Schools in north-central Oklahoma just 30 minutes south of the Kansas boarder, has unsuccessfully tried to meet with all of her region’s lawmakers in Oklahoma City.
Many teachers said they are satisfied with the salary increase. Despite the closure of schools for four days as part of a coordinated sick-out among teachers, a bill that placed severe restrictions on unions passed anyway.
“So it was a lot different”. The walkout continued Tuesday.
Superintendent Joe Kitchens said he supported the board’s decision because the Legislature acted last week to fund average teacher pay raises of about $6,000. They want lawmakers to pass a tax package that would raise another $200 million for schools. The hotel/motel tax will likely be repealed, however.
Yes, Synder is making more money, but leaving her home state really hurts.
“Our kids have no voice other than us that are up here”.
“We expected numerous groups to come up and say thank you for passing the pay raise and to please remember we need money for the classrooms”, Majority Caucus Chair Gary Stanisawski said.
Hundreds of Oklahoma teachers filled the state Capitol for a second day Tuesday, demanding an additional $150 million in school funding and increased raises for themselves and support staff.
Thousands of teachers of Oklahoma and Kentucky skipped work to rally at the states’ capitals to demand more funding for education and better conditions for them.
Scores of protesters walked around the Capitol grounds, where people waved signs, snapped photos and compared notes with their fellow educators. Wednesday, the building was so packed that state troopers shut entrances.
Grace Fox, a junior at Edmond Memorial, says she speaks for many other students who crave knowledge but are shackled by the constraints of low education funding. She said the group met with Sen. “It’s much more heavily on the backs of the local taxpayers and local school districts”. She talked about previous attempts to fund schools, which had failed because of the state’s supermajority rule. The Oklahoma Democratic Party set up a tent outside the Capitol during the teacher protests and urged demonstrators to register to vote. Despite her love for her students, she laments that she made more per year working at Walmart as a student than she does teaching, and said she is moving to give her daughter a better life.
“It can’t just be Senate District 13 or House District 25”, Manuel said.
Thousands of teachers spoke to state legislators in hopes of finding a solution. “And I’m afraid that we may lose momentum if we don’t approach them with tact and kindness”. Schools across Kentucky were closed, due either to spring break or to allow teachers and other school employees to attend the rally.
The walkout began after demonstrations in West Virginia, where teachers walked out before winning a 5 percent raise.
Sharee Davis, a 36-year-old high school math teacher in an Oklahoma City suburb, stood outside the Capitol on Wednesday holding a sign that said, “Auction the necklace” – a reference to reports that Fallin was wearing a high-priced necklace during a bill signing last week.
“We’ve been in this battle with the pension crisis, and we understand there’s a shortfall, but as educators we feel like that shortfall comes through no fault of our own”, Nicely said.