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Published: Sat, April 14, 2018
Research | By Jennifer Evans

Teacher Walkout Day 9

Teacher Walkout Day 9

The Oklahoma teacher walkout will continue into its ninth day today, but some school districts have begun calling their teachers back to the classroom.

Lawmakers in the Republican-controlled legislature said it may be hard to find more money after approving almost $450 million in new taxes and other revenues since the walkout began on April 2 to help fund pay raises for teachers and boost spending. Educators in other states, increasingly angry over stagnating wages, are also considering walk-outs.

Educators have not said when their walkout will end. Groups offering support handed out free pizza and coffee.

As for the teachers, some claim the OEA is leaving them in the dark.

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.

Thousands of teachers packed into the state Capitol on Tuesday to urge lawmakers to remove a tax exemption on capital gains that would bring in another $100 million in revenue. If enacted, the union has said it would be a major step toward ending the strike. "And both Arizona and Oklahoma have supermajority requirements to raise revenue, which tend to lock in tax cuts once they've been enacted and make it hard for these states to address shortfalls in education funding". Arizona and Kentucky teachers have voiced their frustrations regarding teachers' salary and education underfunding.

"As far as this year, we've accomplished a whole lot, and I just don't know how much more we can get done this session", state Representative John Pfeiffer, a House floor leader and top Republican lawmaker, told the local Fox affiliate on Tuesday. The minimum salary for a first-year teacher is now $31,600, state data shows.

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