Teachers Return To Capitol After OEA Ends Walkout

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The teachers gathered to figure out a plan going forward. The union also now wanted Fallin use a veto to reinstate the $5 hotel/motel tax lawmakers repealed earlier in the week.

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Nine days after it began, the teacher walkout in Oklahoma is finally over.

"Because of the members of the Oklahoma Education Association and the overwhelming support by the public, we were able to secure $479 million dollars in education funding", Priest said.

Party spokesman Tres Watson tweeted a photo of the sign covered in red spray paint.

"We blame it on the teachers, and we blame it on this and we blame it on that", Jerden told CNN.

Alicia Priest, president of the Oklahoma Education Association, called the strike "a victory for teachers" at a news conference.

Royer said House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, refused to meet with her.

"For the last year and a half, probably two years, we said we will only pass a teacher pay raise if it's fully funded". Instead, numerous new taxes will be paid by average Oklahomans.

"Being at the Capitol has really been like beating your head against a brick wall", said Reynolds, the second-grade teacher from Norman. But teachers across the state pledged to continue fighting for more school funding and higher pay.

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The demonstration Friday morning had a festival-like atmosphere as teachers sat in lawn chairs or sprawled out on blankets.

The teachers are upset with Republican Gov. Matt Bevin's vetoes of budget and revenue bills. When a community (school district, local businesses, citizens, and local government) functions as a whole, everyone is the beneficiary.

Stephanie Ikanovic was one of the teachers at the rally. She says she would rather be in the classroom Friday morning but she is so anxious about education spending that she made a decision to miss work to make sure her voice was heard. "We need parents and students to pair up with a teacher so they can go into these offices with legislators".

Defiant teachers spent the rest of the strike loudly jingling their keys in the capitol, chanting: "Where is our auto?"

In the never ending quest for our schools to teach to the test, recess was becoming a victim of that goal.

Teachers - who took to social media to share photos of outdated textbooks and broken classroom furniture - had also called for a $200 million increase in education funding, but the state passed an increase of just $50 million. Now, for the sake of the most vulnerable, we must focus on transformational reforms.

Two days later, on Wednesday, April 4, OEA was pushing for the passage of two pieces of legislation to increase school funding.

Lawmakers were not in session on Friday. They're likely to get a boisterous reception from teachers.

Low wages have created an exodus of educators, causing a teacher shortage in Oklahoma.

According to Carly Wright, director of public policy and advocacy for SHAPE America, and the Society of Health and Physical Educators nine states now require daily recess in elementary schools.

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