Teachers hold rallies in Kentucky, Oklahoma

Teachers hold rallies in Kentucky, Oklahoma

Teachers hold rallies in Kentucky, Oklahoma

Thousands of teachers and education supporters are marching in Oklahoma City, and schools all over the state are closed ahead of a rally at the state Capitol for more education funding.

Mr. Karvelis, 23, said teachers would not walk out of class unless they were able to win support from parents and community members across the state, including in rural areas.

"Stop the war on public education!"

Now thousands of teachers have stopped working and are taking to both state capitols to fight for their livelihoods.

The teacher protests in Oklahoma City and Frankfort, the capital cities of Oklahoma and Kentucky respectively, mirrored a similar nine-day strike in West Virginia, where teachers recently won a pay raise to end their walkout.

The protests were the latest by teachers from across the USA who say they "can't wait any longer" and have forced schools to shut down in an effort to bring about change to the education systems in their states.

"We have zero confidence today's state leaders will act any more responsibly than those of the past who enacted massive tax increases with promises to fix education and other vital services", OKOGA President Chad Warmington said in a statement.

As a result of the walk outs, hundreds of schools closed and could potentially remain shuttered throughout the week.

"The message we're trying to send to the legislature is they need to fix the drastic cuts that the governor made in the budget for public education so we have what we need to help every student succeed", McKim said.

According to National Education Association estimates for 2016, Oklahoma ranked 48th, followed by MS at 49 and South Dakota at 50, in terms of average US classroom teacher salary.

Veronica McQueary, an elementary school teacher from Whitley County, says she feels like lawmakers don't care about public education.

Jennifer Thornton, a third-grade teacher from Tulsa, said the lack of funding has led to outrageous class sizes.

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"So I don't see the lawmakers doing anything anything else this year regarding education funding", he said. The determining factor on the decision to close school, or not, will be if we have enough staff at school to ensure the safety and supervision of our students.

The raise issued last week would increase the salary of inexperienced teachers by $5,000.

Despite new legislation giving Oklahoma teachers a $6,100 pay raise, educators are still unsatisified.

OEA president Alicia Priest called it a "good starting point", but not enough.

Holding up a 12-year-old textbook held together with duct tape, Hope Davis, a 15-year-old sophomore from Moore, told the rally, "Funding education shouldn't be historic, it should be normal".

"They had to make us go to the extreme, and now they're just trying to throw a Band-Aid on it and it's just not going to work", Morejon said. "Copies are limited in schools to maybe 30 a week".

"We're madder than hornets, and the hornets are swarming today", said Claudette Green, a retired teacher and principal.

For him, that includes paying the full actuarial payment for the teacher retirement system for 2019-20, funding employee health insurance at the equivalent level payments are now, and for the state to fully fund Support Education Excellence in Kentucky, referred to as SEEK.

According to Senate Bill 151, no changes will be made to teachers' annual cost of living adjustments, which are general benefit increases based on increases in the cost of living.

New hires will have to enter a hybrid cash balance plan, in which members contribute a specified amount into their account. On Friday, teachers shut down a number of schools by calling in sick in what was described as a "sickout" on social media.

"It's just an outright assault on public education".

Frank Solomon, superintendent of Noble Public Schools, said he has had to cut the speech and drama programs in his high schools and push back buying buses and air conditioners. They're fuming over a pension reform bill and demanding lawmakers improve public school funding. "The kids deserve better".

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