teachers

Updated at 1:09 p.m. ET

Debbie Baker thought she qualified for a federal program that helps teachers such as her, as well as nurses, police officers, librarians and others. The Department of Education program forgives their federal student loans if they make their payments for 10 years and work in public service.

For 10 years, Baker, who was a public school teacher in Tulsa, Okla., checked in with loan servicing companies and was told she was on track.

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Ryan LaCroix / KOSU

This session was far less contentious than last session in part because lawmakers were working with a budget surplus. Oklahoma teachers didn’t stage any walkouts, but education was still a dominant topic.

A 40-year-old California law requiring public school teachers on extended sick leave to pay for their own substitute teachers is under scrutiny by some state lawmakers after NPR member station KQED reported on the practice.

Nearly 2,300 teachers have just had a mountain of student loan debt lifted off their backs, according to previously unreleased figures from the U.S. Department of Education. The move follows reporting by NPR that exposed a nightmare for public school teachers across the country.

After two days of impassioned debate, Florida's House of Representatives passed a controversial bill on Wednesday that would permit classroom teachers to carry guns in schools. The bill was already approved by the Senate; it now goes before Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, who is expected to sign it.

More than 80% of parents in the U.S. support the teaching of climate change. And that support crosses political divides, according to the results of an exclusive new NPR/Ipsos poll: Whether they have children or not, two-thirds of Republicans and 9 in 10 Democrats agree that the subject needs to be taught in school.

A separate poll of teachers found that they are even more supportive, in theory — 86% agree that climate change should be taught.

Caroline Halter

It has been nearly one year since the teacher walkout, when thousands of educators flooded Oklahoma’s state capitol demanding better pay and more school funding. After nine days and little progress, they turned their attention to the 2018 elections.

We will go to the ballot boxes in June and in November. We will campaign for candidates who are friendly to public education,” said Ponca City teacher Zach Murray on the last day of the walkout. “No more will education be secondary to everything else.”

LLUDO / FLICKR (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

With a huge freshman class and a promise for less gridlock, Oklahoma lawmakers filed more than 2,800 bills this legislative session. With a third of the session now over, the StateImpact team has an update on some bills we’re following.

 

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Report: K-12 school funding up in states that had teacher protests

A report released Wednesday by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says K-12 school funding is up in four states where significant teacher strikes or protests occurred in 2018.

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