Teachers in Oklahoma, Kentucky go on strike, demanding higher wages

Oklahoma teachers will strike despite raise

If you need financial help, they said to call the Department of Human Services because you could qualify for assistance. She praised the GOP-led Legislature's for approving part of teachers' demands that included pay raises.

"We've had teachers leaving for years, and now it's getting so bad the kids want to leave, too", said Bartlesville teacher Brian Davis. "It was frustrating", Teacher Tom Brennan of Poteau High School said. Currently, teachers receive pension benefits that are "inviolable" under state law, meaning lawmakers can't change them. "It was always funding for our schools", she said. "This isn't just about salaries or money", she says. The teachers, many of whom have not seen a pay raise in a decade, are demanding a $10,000 pay increase over three years and $5,000 for support personnel.

As the state Legislature failed to pass funding increases that met that high burden over the previous year, discontent grew among Oklahoma school districts.

Erica Sudduth, a 29-year-old elementary school teacher in Kenton County, said frustration has been building for years.

Janzen was waving a sign that read: "Hey Mary, education funding shouldn't be historic, it should be normal", in a message to the state's Republican Gov. Mary Fallin.

Despite new legislation giving Oklahoma teachers a $6,100 pay raise, educators are still unsatisified.

Teachers could barely put into words what it was like to step off of the bus and join thousands of other educators at the state capitol.

Union officials did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Though state lawmakers approved a measure last week raising teachers' pay, those who rallied at the capitol said it wasn't enough.

Amid a chorus of chants from teachers, Kentucky lawmakers considered a new state budget that includes higher spending for public education.

Teachers, he said, have grown deeply distrustful of state lawmakers who repeatedly pledged to give them a raise and to restore cuts to education, but failed to do so.

MPS Child Nutrition Program employee Kelly Mabry said the MPS district is providing "Meals on Wheels" to ensure students are fed a nutritious meal during the school shut down. In Oklahoma City, 70% of public school closed.

The demonstrations were inspired by West Virginia, where teachers walked out for nine days earlier this year and won a 5 percent increase in pay. Thousands of teachers from across Kentucky filled the Capitol during the event. Teachers rallied near the House and Senate chambers, opposing the bill's final passage.

On Monday evening EPS announced that due to an increased number of teacher absences, the decision has been made to cancel school Tuesday, April 3.

She said that applies as well to how Republicans waited until Monday morning to roll out a budget and a revenue bill which significantly alters the state's tax code and then scheduled votes on the bills for the same day. "We had 70 percent turnover in the last five years in my school", he says.

The school employees plan to march to the Capitol, a couple of blocks away, on a cold, overcast day.

Organisers were predicting a turnout of 30,000 in Oklahoma City, where aerial television images showed a large crowd, with many in red shirts, gathered outside the state capitol. We don't play, play!

Kentucky cut per-student public education funding again in its latest fiscal plan, according to the late-2017 think tank report. Teachers in Kentucky protested Monday over changes to their pension plans.

Despite those actions, teachers still walked out of school Monday, prompting statewide school closures.

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