Education Funding

Hazel O'Neil

Andrea Brawdy, a special education teacher at James Griffith Intermediate School in Choctaw, Oklahoma, just received the first pay raise of her 12-year teaching career: $414 more per month.

Getting this raise was no small feat. Even after teachers around the state demanded a substantial pay increase, they still left their classrooms to take part in a two-week long teacher walkout at the Capitol building this April. They wanted to bring attention to their demands: better pay, better benefits, and better treatment of teachers.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma education leaders say a state question designed to give districts more spending flexibility will do little to improve public schools’ financial difficulties.

State Question 801 would allow school leaders to spend money in their building fund — currently restricted for things like construction projects, maintenance and repairs, utilities, and custodians’ salaries — in new ways.

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Oklahoma’s State Board of Education is set to approve a record-breaking number of emergency teaching certifications at its meeting Thursday, a strong indication a statewide teacher shortage is still growing.

When the Oklahoma Legislature passed House Bill 1010xx in March, it was the first time lawmakers had increased state taxes in 28 years. Both the House and the Senate applauded themselves.

The governor acted swiftly to sign the bill, and at first, it seemed like a reason for school leaders to celebrate. They had been begging lawmakers to increase teacher pay for years, and it finally happened.

But the excitement quickly faded.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Poltical Consultant Neva Hill and sitting in for Ryan Kiesel is Oklahoma City Democratic Representative Forrest Bennett about arguments before the state Supreme Court on a repeal of a tax paying for raises to teachers, school support staff and state workers and a new study places Oklahoma number one in the nation and number one for countries with a population of more than 500,000 in incarceration.

The Call-In: Teaching And School Funding

Apr 29, 2018

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This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the 2018 candidate filings which resulted in nearly 800 people deciding to run for public office, State Attorney General Mike Hunter faces a challenge to his candidacy based off his residency and lawmakers advance seven bills designed to reform Oklahoma's criminal justice system.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the teacher walkout to call for more funding for education enters week two at the State Capitol, candidate filing for the 2018 elections begins with record breaking numbers and Attorney General Mike Hunter releases an audit showing cleanup at the Tar Creek Superfund site might have cost the state millions of dollars.

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

After nine days of rallying at the state capitol, union leaders say the Oklahoma teacher walkout is over.

The president of the Oklahoma Education Association, Alicia Priest, said on Thursday that despite thousands of people calling on lawmakers to increase school funding, educators have seen no significant legislative movement since last Friday.

She said the union polled its members, and a majority doubted that continuing the walkout would result in more money for schools.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Updated 5:09 p.m.

The state's largest teachers union have announced the Oklahoma teacher walkout is over.

In a press conference this afternoon, Oklahoma Education Association president Alicia Priest said some schools and teachers may continue to walk, but that is up to them and their school boards.

Priest declared the walkout a victory, saying teachers had secured an additional half a billion dollars for public education, but Senate leaders refused to do more this year, and that was the reason for calling things off.

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