Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (CNN)This is about much more than teachers’ salaries.
Tens of thousands of Kentucky and Oklahoma teachers ditched classrooms Monday to rally at their state capitals, demanding more education funding for students. “Stop the war on public education!” Kentucky teachers chanted in front of the capitol in Frankfort.
Kentucky teachers assembled at the State Capitol. They're fuming over a pension reform bill and demanding lawmakers improve public school funding. "#120strong" is their chant. pic.twitter.com/PKmVRZCNIU
— Polo Sandoval (@PoloSandovalCNN) April 2, 2018 Inspired by West Virginia teachers, who went on strike and got a pay raise from their state leaders, educators in other states such as Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arizona are taking similar action.These teachers work up to 6 jobs to pay the billsKentucky teachers are decrying what they call “bait-and-switch” changes to their pensions, after state lawmakers tucked those reforms into another bill about sewage and passed that bill last week. Read MoreAnd in Oklahoma, protesters are rallying for higher teacher and support staff raises, as well as increased funding for education — which has plummeted by 28% over the past decade, the state teachers’ union president said. Oklahoma: Where classrooms don’t have enough textbooks Teachers across the state flocked to Oklahoma City, saying concessions made by lawmakers last week aren’t nearly good enough to support the future of education.
Sarah Drake, an 8th grade teacher in Marlow, Oklahoma says some school districts in the state have gone to 4-day work weeks because “the schools can’t afford to keep the lights on.” Also, “so teachers can work extra jobs.” #OKWalk4Kids pic.twitter.com/pS1gWnKWVb
— Nick Valencia (@CNNValencia) April 2, 2018 Oklahoma is among the bottom three states in teachers’ salaries, and until Thursday, had not received a state raise in a decade. The state teachers’ union has been demanding $10,000 raises for teachers; $5,000 raises for support staff; and $200 million in educational funding. What Oklahoma teachers want vs. what they've gotten
The Oklahoma teachers’ union wants:
$10,000 raises for teachers$5,000 raises for support staff, such as janitors and cafeteria workers
$200 million in education funding
What just got signed into law:
Average teacher raises of $6,100$1,250 raises for support staff$50 million in education funding