Why Oklahoma Teachers Are Protesting: ‘They’ve given us a raise and nothing for students’


By Sahid Fawaz

Most people think that teachers in Oklahoma are protesting solely for higher pay. But the walkout is about so much more.

Tulsa World reports:

“”Oklahoma’s teacher walkout and Capitol protest showed no signs of stopping after a second day as thousands of teachers brought their fight for more state funding for public schools indoors.

Protest chants filled the Capitol rotunda Tuesday as educators pressed lawmakers to take action on stalled-out measures that could bring in additional revenues for school operations. Thousands spent the day outside, protesting or waiting to get in.

‘What do we want? Funding! When do we want it? Now!’

‘We’ll be back on Wednesday!’

‘This is what democracy looks like!’

Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers said the Capitol had reached maximum capacity by about 9:45 a.m., and they would only allow people still lined up to come inside as others departed.

The Oklahoma Education Association listed three teacher demands that would end the walkout: fill the $50 million gap created in hotel/motel tax the Legislature repealed last week, pass a bill that would bring in revenue by allowing ‘ball and dice’ gambling, and find additional revenue sources to increase funding for schools . . .

Robert Yadon, a teacher at Hale Junior High in Tulsa, said he was thrilled about the teacher pay increase that lawmakers approved last week, but ‘they’ve given us a raise and nothing for students.’

He said recent legislative failures to fund teacher pay and education in general was “the straw that broke the camel’s back” and made the walkout inevitable.

‘We needed to come up here and tell them to fund education and teacher salaries,’ Yadon said. ‘The Republican answer to everything is to cut.'”

For the rest of the story, visit Tulsa World.

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