teacher pay

Kelly Burley / KOSU

On Wednesday afternoon, teachers in Stillwater got an after-school jump on a planned statewide walkout next week.

At one of the city’s busiest intersections, 6th and Western, roughly 40 Stillwater public schools teachers and students waved signs as passing motorists tapped their car and truck horns in seeming approval.

Celeste Fox, a 26-year educator who teaches second grade at nearby Westwood Elementary School, says it’s time to stem the long-rolling tide of education budget cuts in Oklahoma.

Updated 8:58 p.m.

After more than three hours of discussions behind closed doors, the Oklahoma Senate made quick work of three bills that would help fund a teacher pay raise package and potentially avoid next week’s teacher walkout.

Senators passed three bills Wednesday night:

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Senate is now considering a package of bills to increase tax revenue to give raises to teachers and public employees. Among the targeted increases are taxes on oil and gas.

On Tuesday, the energy industry showed up to the capitol to rally against the proposal.

Outside the capitol, oil-field workers arrived early in the morning to set up and stoke enormous trailer-pulled grills and smokers to feed the public and legislators, and remind them of the oil industry’s status as a top job-maker.

UPDATED: 11:14 p.m.

A revenue package that included several tax increases passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives Monday night, the first time a tax increase has passed the House in 28 years.

It was a late night for the Oklahoma House of Representatives in an effort to avoid a teacher and public employee walkout next week. After several failed attempts over the last 17 months to find funding for a teacher pay raise, Democrats and Republicans struck a deal over the weekend.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and sitting in for Ryan Kiesel is Oklahoma City Democratic Representative Forrest Bennett about approval by the State Supreme Court for an initiative petition which if it gets enough signatures and passed by voters would increase gross production taxes to 7% to pay for teacher raises, several proposals get pushed at the State Capitol in an attempt to avoid a teacher walkout & the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee tells the director of the Department of Corrections ther

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday ruled a proposed state question that would ask voters to approve tax hikes on oil and gas production to help fund education can move forward.

The proposed State Question 795 was written by a group called Restore Oklahoma Now, which is led by a former president of the OIPA. It would ask voters to end discounts on many wells and impose an across-the-board 7 percent tax on oil and gas production to fund teacher raises and early childhood education.

Chelsea Beck/NPR

The teachers' strike in West Virginia may have ended last week, when Gov. Jim Justice signed a law giving educators a 5 percent pay increase, but the fight in other states is just warming up.

"You can make anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 more by driving 15 minutes across the state line," said Dale Lee, president of the West Virginia Education Association. "We're having trouble keeping and attracting young teachers."

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about a two week deadline for lawmakers to come up with funding for pay raises for teachers and state workers or face a walkout by both groups and an announcement by the state Attorney General and Director of the Department of Corrections that Oklahoma will soon be using nitrogen gas to execute people on death row.

Oklahoma Teacher Walk Out Looms

Mar 12, 2018
Dick Thomas Johnson / Flickr

Educators across the state of Oklahoma are threatening to walk out after a decade without a raise. 

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