Friday, 17 August, 2018

Some Schools Reopen As Oklahoma Teacher Walkout Stretches Into Day Nine

Oklahoma Republicans refuse to bow to teachers' demands Oklahoma's striking teachers seek more funds, Republicans say they are done
Marty Perkins | 13 April, 2018, 06:14

"Every day my strategy is to speak with at least one representative and have a meaningful dialogue", said Custred, a history teacher at Edmond Memorial High School. And I think the way he proposed shows even more how much this movement is effecting all of us.

Karvelis said 30,000 educators have ratified the group's demand list and they are close to getting enough teachers to approve a statewide walkout.

"But I feel equally discouraged and disheartened".

Teacher Genero Pratcher said he had come out to fight for "funding for our children, bottom line".

"We really want to do everything to help them, I mean they're not only trying to benefit themselves but they're also trying to benefit our students", superintendent Marcus Chapman said.

Again, how missed days will be made up is up to each school district's superintendent.

Kids representing 31 elementary schools in the Oklahoma City Public Schools system compete for free. The 24-year-old said the free meals have been crucial for families in the area who depend on school meals to feed their children. Their students, with the school closed, have been mostly staying home.

"You're a labor organizer in a class struggle from 3 p.m.to 6 a.m., then I'm back to school with a puppet on my hand singing songs to kindergartners", he said.

Oklahoma City teachers may not be in the classroom, but they are still on the sports field.

With the walkout continuing, Gray says they have been facing a variety of issues like scheduling.




Democratic Rep. Rebecca Rios, the minority leader, said she doesn't fault the educators for wanting to walk out since they've been pushed to a "breaking point". "I'm a speech pathologist in Tahlequah Public Schools, and I'm a parent of two kids", CN citizen Robyn Rowland said.

Teachers are demanding a US$10,000 over the course of next three years. "I'm not mad about it".

Since 2008, state funding for public schools has decreased by almost 9 percent, while student enrollment has increased by over 8 percent.

A November report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that Oklahoma cut roughly $1,000 per pupil over the last nine years.

But after announcing measures to reel in almost US$450 million through new taxes and other revenues, Oklahoma announced it couldn't help the teachers any further.

Drastic cuts in state education funding in the last decade here have also left teachers frustrated.

According to the left-leaning CBPP, adjustments to inflation in the state also led to spending per student at almost 30 percent over the course of the past decade.

The atmosphere outside the Capitol on Tuesday remained festive as schools set up tents and performers took the stage. "Right now, we can't adequately teach them with the funding that we have". One third-grade teacher claims that if she had not gotten a second job, she would be on food stamps. She also signed legislation, an Amazon tax bill and ball and dice table gaming, which is estimated to replace the loss of the hotel/motel tax. I think I've heard that we're 90 percent to our first year of funding.

Instead, he said he would continue meeting with school district officials and lawmakers to pass his budget proposal, which adds some new K-12 cash but not almost enough to meet the teachers' demands.

"We have had a team of volunteers helping to bring these programs to different sites as they are needed, giving students something a little different to do and helping relieve some pressure on the full-time staff at these sites", he said.

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