Oklahoma teachers rally at capitol as walkout enters 7th day

Oklahoma teachers rally at capitol as walkout enters 7th day

Oklahoma public school teachers are among the lowest paid in the USA and the state's education system has seen inflation-adjusted general funding per student drop by about 28 precent over the past decade, according to Reuters.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation last month granting teacher pay hikes of about $6,100 and providing tens of millions of new dollars for public schools, but many educators say classrooms still need more money.

In a statement on Twitter, the American Federation of Teachers announced their goal was to transform this moment of activism into a long-term movement for fully funded public schools for our kids and respect for ourselves and our profession.

A historic teacher strike in Oklahoma may hurt the state's blood supply, since 20 percent of blood donations come from high school blood drives, reportsKTUL.

While thousands of students remain out of school indefinitely, OEA President Alicia Priest made clear what she thinks lawmakers must do to end the teacher walkout.

"This needs to go nationwide", Val, a physical education teacher in Oklahoma told the WSWS.

More news: Blitzboks power into Hong Kong semis

Some of Oklahoma's largest school districts have already canceled classes on Monday in anticipation of continued protests. On Sunday, Washington Post business columnist Robert Samuelson said wages and funding were only the superficial causes of the teachers' strikes. "And, I think they'll be surprised because we're teachers, we're patient people".

However, Republicans in the State House of Representatives don't appear to be listening.

Teachers from across the state shut down their schools and marched in the state's capital last week.

The Legislature approved $2.9 billion for public schools, an increase of almost 20 percent over last year's spending. Teachers said that wasn't enough.

The unions insist the funding crisis must be resolved by "working within the system" on a state-by-state basis, which invariably means supporting increases in regressive taxes or cuts in other vital services to make up for trillions being squandered at every level of the government to fund bank bailouts, corporate tax cuts and endless wars for big business.

Some teachers walked 15 miles Monday to get to Oklahoma City. "You'll be lucky if we have a job for you next year, '" Baez said.

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