Published: Sat, March 31, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Oklahoma Teachers Pleased About Increase, But Say It's Still Not Enough

Oklahoma Teachers Pleased About Increase, But Say It's Still Not Enough

A package of tax hikes including oil and gas production to generate hundreds of millions of new dollars for teacher pay and avert statewide school closures has been given final legislative approval by the Oklahoma Legislature. Kansas lawmakers had enough past year, voting to raise taxes over Gov. Sam Brownback's (R) veto, and on Wednesday night, Oklahoma lawmakers gave final approval to a bill that will generate $450 million in new revenue from a $1-a-pack surcharge on cigarettes, increasing the gas tax by 3 cents and 6 cent for diesel, and raising taxes on oil and gas production to 5 percent, from 2 percent.

The OEA is still calling for a statewide walkout on Monday, arguing that lawmakers already are working to repeal the lodging tax, which generates almost $50 million for funding.

"This is a very historic moment in Oklahoma's time", said Fallin at the bill signing Thursday.

The OEA had told legislators that teachers were seeking a $10,000 pay raise over three years, a $5,000 raise for other support professionals over the same period of time, an adjustment to retirees' pensions, and full restoration of funding to what they call essential, or core education services.

Dissatisfaction over classroom funding - not pay raises - is fueling speculation that teachers will walk off the job for multiple days beginning Monday, union and school district officials told The Oklahoman on Friday. And what's largely getting lost in all the furor over teacher raises, she said, is that education funding has suffered for years in Oklahoma. West Virginia educators won a 5 percent pay hike after going on strike. Teachers in the state haven't had a raise in a decade and have the lowest salary in the nation according to some estimates.

Late this afternoon.Governor Mary Fallin signed it into law.

"Poteau schools will be closed Monday so teachers and concerned citizens can go to the Capitol to push for more money for education", Brennan said. "They may be saying 'thank you". Oklahoma teachers say it's not enough, however, and they still plan to strike next week. "With 91 school districts having a four-day work week and every school district in the state reporting that they are offering fewer courses and electives because of the teacher shortage - Oklahoma's children have been the victims in these budget cuts all along". Last week, Cache Independent School District Superintendent Chad Hance sent a letter to prepare parents for the walkout.

N.Korea agrees to hold high-level talks: Seoul
The planned summit between Mr Moon and Mr Kim will be preceded by performances of South Korean pop singers in North Korea . The summit aims to improve relations and resolve the standoff over the North's nuclear program.

Didier Deschamps happy with France display in win over Russian Federation
Pogba then netted one for himself just after the break with a sumptuous curling free-kick from around 30 yards out. Fedor Smolov gave Russian Federation hope, beating Hugo Lloris after meeting a cross from Igor Smolnikov.

Apple iPhone 5.8-inch variant to be the cheapest model in 2018
If Apple were to pass on that savings to customers, the next iPhone X could cost about $900 instead of $999. However, the project was suspended in mid-February and must have been eventually terminated later on.

"Lawmakers have left funding on the table that could be used immediately to help Oklahoma students", Priest said.

"We need to fund state government, they need to fund state government", he said. "There is still work to do to get this Legislature to invest more in our classrooms".

Sapulpa Public Schools will be closed April 2, 3, and 4.

"Lawmakers, I want you to make education a priority", said Lehew.

What started in West Virginia has spread to Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Arizona.

Approving tax hikes in Oklahoma is extraordinarily hard, requiring a three-fourths supermajority in both chambers.

Like this: