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Some Extracurricular Activities Continue Despite Oklahoma Teacher Walkout
11 April 2018, 11:21 | Simon Arnold
Other State Workers Feel Ignored As Teacher Walkout Continues
Oklahoma's education department is extending the time period for students to take standardized tests as the state's teacher walkout enters its second week.
"I think it will continue. until they see the fully funded education bills that need to be passed", said Kingsgate Elementary Principal Karie Hill, one of many administrators who joined teachers at the Capitol.
However, Republicans in the State House of Representatives don't appear to be listening.
But the OEA was livid about another Senate move: the repeal of a hotel and motel tax that it said would be paid by mostly nonresidents and would add millions in revenue.
The actions of the governor and Legislature appeared to indicate that the confrontation has reached a stalemate.
Suzie Buck has been retired from a 22-year career as a speech pathologist with the Muskogee school district but she still considers herself a solid supporter of teachers and education.
Muskogee and Haskell schools announced there would be no classes on Wednesday.
Teachers descended on the Capitol again Tuesday, but the crowds were notably smaller.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Oklahoma teachers are paid nearly $20,000 less than the national average salary for teachers.
Hundreds of schools closed Monday as teachers demanded $150 million more to replace dilapidated, decades-old textbooks and fund elective courses. In his Facebook video, he said he would not vote for another bill to increase funding or salaries for schools and teachers.
The Legislature approved $2.9 billion for public schools, an increase of almost 20 percent over last year's spending.
Fallin signed a measure allowing tribal casinos to offer roulette and dice games, which will raise about $20 million.
But Ralston says if you ask teachers, you'll find that their movement was never about the raises alone. Teachers are also lobbying for a repeal to the capital gains tax exemption.
"The incentive overall can not, with the data available, be credibly shown to have significant economic impact or a positive return on investment for the state", the analyst wrote. It's faced opposition from chambers of commerce and the hospitality industry.
She said she is glad prom is not being affected, but she did have to cancel a trip to a Latin convention with her friends because of the walkout.
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