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Coburn rips Oklahoma House for passing tax hike

30 March 2018

That strike resulted in West Virginia lawmakers approving a 5 percent raise for public school teachers and state employees.

On Wednesday, the Republican-controlled Oklahoma legislature gave final approval to a $447 million tax increase package to raise the salaries of teachers and school support staff across the state.

"It's not only about teachers, it's our education", said Antuono, who was at the state Capitol this week to meet with her elected officials.

Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere. That bill, along with separate revenue measures to expand tribal gaming and cap itemized income tax deductions, would provide enough money for an average salary hike of $6,100 for teachers, along with raises for education support personnel and state workers. We have an extraordinary amount of work ahead of us to continue to undo a historical under-investment in education, which preceded a decade of funding cuts to education and other social services.

However, district leaders say Oklahoma City teachers who choose not to participate in the walkout may come to school, or take personal, business or unpaid leave.

"What yesterday looked like a positive step forward and a historic down payment on our children's future now hangs in the balance as the legislature dismantles the funding needed to solve this crisis they created in the first place", OEA President Alicia Priest said in a provided statement. The West Virginia strike kept the state's schools closed for nine consecutive school days and continued after lawmakers passed a one-time five percent raise, with teachers insisting that all their demands be met.

"This package doesn't overcome shortfall caused by four-day weeks, overcrowded classrooms that deprive kids of the one-on-one attention they need. It's not enough", Priest said.

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"Luckily, I got the last of the Spanish teacher", Antuono said.

In Arizona, thousands of teachers and supporters wearing red swarmed the state Capitol on Wednesday, calling for higher pay and better education funding under what they called #REDforED.

Educators wore stickers reading: "I don't want to strike, but I will".

"Our classrooms go without updated textbooks, basic supplies, and technology". "Our school communities are desperate for change because we know what's at stake here - the futures of our students and this great state".

Teachers say they are overworked and underpaid.

State Sen. John Kavanagh, the Appropriations Committee chairman, told KNXV that tax increases to pay for K-12 education are off the table, as voters have opposed the idea in the past.

Coburn rips Oklahoma House for passing tax hike