Teachers chant 'take a vote' as walkout continues

Alicia Farmer
April 13, 2018

The Oklahoma Education Association has called for end to the statewide teacher walkout.

Dickson made a decision to shut down for the week now that state testing is finished and have confirmed they will remain closed Friday despite the walkout said to end.

Sulphur closed Monday through Thursday but will resume classes Friday.

Amanda Jeffers, a Democrat and a high school English teacher in Oklahoma, said she was spurred by the teacher movement to run against a Republican incumbent, even though she acknowledges an uphill battle in a district with a 2-to-1 GOP registration advantage.

In Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey, under pressure from teachers who have threatened a walkout, announced on Thursday a plan to provide teachers with a raise by 2020, which he said could be accomplished without raising taxes.

The Oklahoma teacher walkout continued for a ninth day on Thursday.

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The Oklahoma Education Association announced this afternoon it is ending the walkout portion of its protest for additional education funding. But he added, "I don't think there's political will to do a personal income tax hike".

"Despite tens of thousands of people filling the Capitol and spilling out onto the grounds of this Capitol for nine days, we have seen no significant legislative movement since last Friday."
She's a member of the American Federation of Teachers. You give the impression that because public school teachers are paid with our tax dollars that we somehow have rein over that money once it's paid out in wages. Still, the large rallies, marches and lobbying that developed around the walkout would not have been possible without the muscle of state and national labor organizations. However, many teachers pushed back on the administration's call to reopen, saying their work at the Capitol was not done. She had never been involved in politics before, she said, but the condition of her three children's schools - aging textbooks, broken furniture - drove her to act. Nope. You want change? And it's unlikely to sway much opinion when even Ray Charles could see that funding of Oklahoma schools has been neglected for far too long.

Ms. DeArman said she planned to vote this year and would be carefully considering candidates' education platforms.

Alicia Priest, OEA president, proclaimed the walkout a victory, but said the Legislature had "fallen short".

"That doesn't help our 564 people", he said.

Earlier Thursday, public employees said they wouldn't walk anymore because lawmakers were exclusively focused on education priorities, not all core services.

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