Kentucky and Oklahoma teachers flood state capitals — and refuse to back down

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (CNN) Tens of thousands of Oklahoma and Kentucky educators ditched classrooms Monday to move at their state capitals, challenging more education funding for college students.

And many say they’ll keep combating until lawmakers meet theirdemands.
“Stop the war on public education and learning! ” Kentucky teachers chanted ahead of the capitol in Frankfort.

Galvanized by Western Virginia teachers, who went on strike plus got a pay raise, educators in Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arizona are also demanding much better conditions for students and on their own.
Kentucky teachers are decrying what they contact ” bait-and-switch ” changes to their pensions, after state lawmakers tucked all those reforms into another bill regarding sewage and passed that expenses last week.

And in Oklahoma, protesters are usually rallying for higher teacher plus support staff raises, as well as improved funding for education — that has plummeted by 28% over the past 10 years, the state teachers’ union said.
And there is end to the walkout in sight. Thunder Public Schools — the largest college district in the state — has canceled classes for Tuesday.

Oklahoma: Exactly where classrooms don’t have enough textbooks

Educators statewide flocked to Oklahoma City, stating concessions made by lawmakers last week usually are nearly good enough to support the future of education and learning.

Oklahoma is among the bottom three declares in teachers’ salaries, and till Thursday, had not received a state increase in a decade. The state teachers’ marriage has been demanding $10, 000 boosts for teachers; $5, 000 boosts for support staff; and one hundred dollar million in educational funding.

The Oklahoma teachers’ marriage wants:

  • $10, 1000
  • raises for educators

  • $5, 500
  • raises for assistance staff, such as janitors and cafeteria workers

  • one hundred dollar million
  • in education and learning funding

What just got authorized into law:

  • Average instructor raises of $6, 100
  • $1, 250 increases for support staff
  • $50 million
  • in education funding

“This isn’t just about teacher salaries, inch said David DuVall, executive movie director of the Oklahoma Education Association. “This is about funding our schools for the students. ”
Jennifer Thornton, a third-grade teacher from Tulsa, said deficiency of funding has led to outrageous course sizes.
“The worst I’ve seen will be 40 special ed students in a single classroom, ” Thornton said. “We don’t have enough adults in the constructing to keep the number of students we have secure or still learning. ”
Last week, Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill that will raises teachers’ salaries by typically $6, 100. It also gives $1, 250 raises for support personnel and adds $50 million within education funding.
OEA president Alicia Clergyman called it a “good starting place, ” but not enough. She mentioned some classrooms don’t have enough books, and that some books are more compared to 20 years old — affecting the standard of education for students.
Priest said the fifty dollars million increase approved by the state a week ago “will buy less than one book per student in Oklahoma. inch
“We’ve already been cut over 28% in the last ten years in education funding, and the schools just can’t maintain all of the items, instructional materials, textbooks, even duplicate paper, ” she said. “Copies are limited in schools in order to maybe 30 a week. ”

Kentucky: Exactly where teachers feel ‘an outright attack on public education’

Frigid conditions did not deter teachers from protesters on the state Capitol on Monday, the final weekday of the Kentucky legislative program.
“At this point, we are continuing to demonstration until our voices are noticed, ” said Gerry Brooks, primary at Liberty Elementary in Lexington. “This is been going on a terrible long time, and we’re not really getting heard. ”

And so it begins… #supportourteachers #120strong

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Kentucky Training Association President Stephanie Winkler stated the lawmakers’ sudden reform in order to teachers’ pensions was like a “bomb that exploded on public program. ”
According to the plan:
  • You will see no changes to annual living costs adjustments, which will remain at one 5%.
  • Brand new hires will have to enter a crossbreed cash balance plan, in which users contribute a specified amount to their account.
  • Instructors will have a limited number of sick times they can put toward their pension.

    Kentucky educators skip school to protest

The costs, passed mostly on party ranges, has gone to Gov. Matt Bevin — who supports reforming the particular pension system. State leaders state it’s critical to fix the monthly pension crisis, which has as one of the worst shortfalls in the US .
Furious over the changes, teachers called out of work sick or asked for substitutes, forcing schools to near in more than 20 counties Fri.
By Mon, at least 25 Kentucky school zones closed due to the walkout at the condition Capitol. Those teachers were joined up with by many more colleagues from throughout the state who were on spring crack.

As well as the outcry over the pension bill, instructors are also demanding more funding with regard to schools to help pay for textbooks, technologies and school programs.
First-year teacher Diane Young said she’s already utilized to spending her own money on class room supplies.
“It’s just an outright strike on public education. Communities, declares need public education, ” the lady said.
“And instead of finding logical resources for funding, they just want to reduce and take away. And it’s awful, mainly because our kids deserve better. Our condition deserves better. ”