Wyandotte Teachers Ready for Another Week In Oklahoma City

Early estimates show the teacher walkout has cost taxpayers over half a million dollars

Oklahoma City Public Schools, the state's largest school district, and Tulsa Public Schools said Monday they will be closed on Tuesday.

And by some accounts, Monday's crowd was the biggest yet. On Sunday, Washington Post business columnist Robert Samuelson said wages and funding were only the superficial causes of the teachers' strikes.

The Oklahoma strike comes amid a wave of action by teachers in states where budgets have been slashed, as measured by per-student spending, over the past decade.

A historic teacher strike in Oklahoma may hurt the state's blood supply, since 20 percent of blood donations come from high school blood drives, reportsKTUL.

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This week, the Oklahoma Education Association is asking Governor Mary Fallin to veto the repeal of a hotel/motel tax that was part of the $447 million tax increase signed into law last week. "And the bottom line is that, in turn, impacts the quality of education we're providing to the students in beginning teachers' classrooms". They are asking the Oklahoma Legislature to provide $50 million more in funding and to repeal a capital gains tax exemption. The second bill, a "ball and dice" tax for gambling, is not expected to increase this year's education funding, but could generate income in the future. Teachers said that wasn't enough.

What will it take for this to end?

With demands for statewide strikes spreading from Kentucky, Arizona and SC to Florida, Iowa and Texas, the unions have warned teachers that strikes are illegal and would lead to "harsh consequences".

Until then, don't expect teachers to end the walkout.

Mark Joraanstad, executive director of Arizona School Administrators, says administrators are hoping teachers don't walk out of classrooms and that state lawmakers resolve the issue.

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In Kentucky, teachers also protested the passage of a pension bill, which they called a "bait-and-switch" move.

Senate Bill 151 bars current employees from contributing sick days to their retirement funds after December 31, 2018, and requires new teachers hired after January 1, 2019, to participate in a hybrid cash-balance retirement plan.

"As teachers, our nature is the best for our students", Leah Hedger, an Edmond teacher, told News 4 during the Monday morning march to the state capitol.

"They were like, 'We have so many cuts".

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"They're nearly there. I think one more good bill, and we'll be where we need to be", he said.

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