Some say teachers risk losing support as walkout continues

Ada schools to reopen Monday

For students in Washington and Wayne, it was back to classes as usual on Tuesday as educators from across the state continued to protest at the Oklahoma Capitol. "Teachers in Kentucky protested Monday over changes to their pension plans".

Rep. Earl Sears, a Republican from Bartlesville and a retired school administrator, said he voted for the tax hike and supports teachers' efforts, but acknowledged they run the risk of losing public support the longer that schools remain closed.

In an interview with CBS News, Fallin says, "teachers want more, but it's kind of like having a teenage kid that wants a better vehicle". Last week, she approved average $6,100 raises for classroom teachers and almost $447 million in new taxes to pay for them. Almost all the revenue generated from both measures will be earmarked for public education. Heather Cody, a third-grade teacher who organized the march, told NBC News.

Earlier this week, Fallin signed the 2019 fiscal year appropriations bill, allocating almost $2.9 billion for K-12 schools - a almost 20 percent increase over current funding levels. Three weeks before a closely watched special election for an open congressional seat in Arizona, Republican hopeful Debbie Lesko is running a TV ad that shows her reading a book to children as she vows to "fix our schools and give our teachers the raise they deserve". The minimum salary for a first-year teacher was $31,600, state data showed. The teachers union has called for an additional classroom funding of $75 million.

But, regardless of what haters say, from Charleston, West Virginia, to Oklahoma City, student support has helped build the teachers' case that their own interests are aligned with those of the public.

Thousands of Oklahoma teachers, students and their supporters staged massive demonstrations at the state Capitol for the fourth straight day Thursday while Republican lawmakers struggled to find a way to placate the chanting masses and bring an end to a walkoutat some of the state's largest school districts.

"This represents positive momentum after last week's passage of House Bill 1010XX, a landmark piece of legislation which included significant pay increases for all teachers as part of a $480 million funding package", she said in a prepared statement.

"Here is mine", Jack Baker, a fellow Twitter user who identified himself as an Oklahoma teacher, replied, posting a photo of a textbook from his classroom that he said appears just as old.

"It's been a hassle, that's for sure", said Hardwick, who said she may have to take a day off work without pay.

Ravi Patel, a senior at Southmoore High School, says public education in Oklahoma is as bad or worse than education in developing nations. On Wednesday, Arizona teachers, wearing red, held a "walk-in" where they held up protest signs and walked into their schools alongside those in the community who support their demands, reported NBC affiliate 12 News in Phoenix.

Hardesty Schools has also been participating in the walkout by not having classes.

Though she is spending her week at the state Capitol, the teacher stopped by Puterbaugh on Wednesday morning to check on the incoming supplies.

On top of low wages, Oklahoma teachers grapple with poor classroom conditions, crumbling textbooks, and limited seating.

Oklahoma has the lowest median pay among states for both elementary and secondary school teachers, according to 2018 bureau data.

"Educators have been passionately advocating for their students and asking the legislature to provide more funding for our classrooms after a decade of neglect of Oklahoma's public schools".

On Tuesday, Republican Gov. Mary Fallin signed part of the 2019 fiscal year appropriations bill, allocating almost $2.9 billion for K-12 schools - a almost 20 percent increase over current funding levels.

Oklahoma teachers receive an average salary of $42,460 a year, less than teachers in almost every other state, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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