Fallin compares striking teachers to teenagers

Teachers in Oklahoma are demanding higher pay as well as increased funding               CBS News

Pointing to shabby education materials and Oklahoma's ranking as 49th in teacher pay, they demand higher wages and more school funding.

The Latest on teachers rallying for higher pay and education funding in several Republican-led states across the U.S.

Oklahoma teachers are also among the lowest paid in the country.

"Tens of thousands of educators, parents and community members are showing up at the capitol every day because they are overwhelmed by classrooms with more students than desks, duct-taped textbooks, and schools that are only heated to 60 degrees", said Alicia Priest, the union's president, in a statement.

Following the event, Fallin called the pay raise she approved last week a "giant step forward". Data gathered by the National Education Association, which only considers public school teachers, shows Oklahoma teachers only made slightly more than Nebraska and MS teachers, with an average salary of $45,245. "These measures leave millions in revenue on the table and still leave Oklahoma students among the worst funded in the nation". "The discord between all the different bodies involved in the process has been disheartening from a standpoint", she said.

HB 3705 includes $353.5 million for teacher pay, $52 million for support personnel pay, $33 million for textbooks: $17 million for the state aid formula; and $24.7 million for flex health care benefits.

Some Oklahoma educators and their supporters have begun a 110-mile march to urge state lawmakers to increase funding for classrooms.

She also $50million to the budget for school funding - even though teachers were asking for at least $200million.

Oklahoma educators are fighting back after being compared to a "teenage kid" by Gov. Mary Fallin earlier this week.

"I'm pleased to sign this bill that provides a significant increase in spending for our public school system", Fallin said, according to Fox 25 in Oklahoma City.

A teacher walkout in Oklahoma is entering its third day in a red state rebellion stretching from West Virginia to Arizona that is putting Republicans on the spot over public education.

They also want a $10,000 raise over three years and a raise of $5,000 for support staff. "I'm hoping this additional funding will result in improved K-12 public school results". Instead of getting praised, thousands of teachers still thronged the state Capitol, demanding more money, while anti-tax conservatives vowed to challenge incumbents who supported the plan.



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