Oklahoma educators face tough choice with looming walkout

31 March, 2018, 08:48 | Author: Julio Duncan
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School districts have said after Monday, they will monitor the situation and keep parents informed on a day-by-day basis.

"Teachers' voices were heard and reflected in this bill, which acknowledges that educators have been woefully underpaid and undervalued and that schools have been grossly underfunded", Allen said. The mixed actions by Oklahoma's legislature could lead to a situation where some school districts close only for Monday or not at all, while others engage in a work stoppage for days.

Oklahoma teachers had set a statewide walkout for Monday.

"This is not just about a pay raise".

"We have no choice, we need to do this for the students", McElhany said.

"This is a very historic moment in Oklahoma's time", Fallin said of funding measures that included the pay boost. "We can not continue to let the legislature shortchange our kids".

Oklahoma Education Association President Alicia Priest said teacher pay is not the only issue on the table. After a nine-day strike, Republican Gov. Jim Justice signed a bill giving all public school teachers (and state employees) a 5 percent pay hike earlier this month.

"I think the teachers unions are in a tight spot trying to reconcile the demands from some of their more hardcore members compared to what is attainable from the Legislature", said David Blatt, executive director of the Oklahoma Policy Institute, a Tulsa think tank. "It's about making sure our students have the instructional materials they need to be successful in school and in the future". "It's not enough", Priest said.


Rebecca Garelli, a seventh grade science teacher at Sevilla West School in Phoenix, speaks during a #RedForEd rally at the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix on March 28, 2018.

"I've been told "Trust us" too many times in this building as have teachers for about the last decade".

"Our kids they deserve better", said Leighow.

The fatal weakness of that struggle, however, was that rank-and-file teachers did not build up the necessary organizations, free from the control of the unions, to take the struggle forward and mobilize the broadest support in the working class to fight the gang-up of the two big-business parties and the powerful corporate interests behind them.

More experienced classroom teachers would receive an even larger raise based on years of service and their certification.

"Now the governor wants to bring in uncertified teachers and military veterans, so they can pay them less and systematically destroy education". "And, we wonder why the public doesn't trust us, and we wonder why the public's frustrated with us, why they're unsure if they want to send us back again for another term".

Bryant: "Yes, part of it is salary, but then part of it is to the support personnel, and general funding of the school".

"146 voted to participate in the walkout and 43 voted to stay", said Jimmy Acevedo, director of alternative education. "No; but this is a great start".

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