Oklahoma approves teacher pay increase but union says it's not enough, walkout still on

Oklahoma legislators approved a $6,100 pay raise for teachers on Wednesday, but the state teacher's union says that t...

Posted: Mar 29, 2018 1:35 PM
Updated: Mar 29, 2018 1:35 PM

Oklahoma legislators approved a $6,100 pay raise for teachers on Wednesday, but the state teacher's union says that the bill is not enough and plans to walk out Monday.

House Bill 1010XX, which was described as "the largest teacher pay raise in the history of the state" passed both the state House and Senate this week. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said she would sign the bill.

Oklahoma legislature approves pay raise for teachers

Thousands of Arizona teachers march in Phoenix over pay and education funding

"I appreciate our lawmakers putting people over politics by approving this package of revenue measures to fund teacher pay raises as well as provide additional money for the classroom," Fallin said in a statement Wednesday.

For weeks, Oklahoma teachers have been considering a walkout over what they say is their breaking point over pay and education funding. The state ranks 49th in the nation in teacher salaries, according to the National Education Association, in a list that includes Washington, D.C. Mississippi and South Dakota rank lower.

Inspired by the West Virginia strike in which teachers demanded and got a pay raise from state leaders earlier this month, similar efforts have taken off in Oklahoma and Arizona.

The Oklahoma Education Association, the state's largest teachers' union that represents nearly 40,000 members and school personnel, called the passage of the bill "a truly historic moment," but one that remains "incomplete" according to its president Alicia Priest.

Teachers and school staff will walk off their jobs on Monday and descend on the state Capitol, she said in video comments posted on Facebook.

"While this is major progress, this investment alone will not undo a decade of neglect," she said. "Lawmakers have left funding on the table that could be used immediately to help Oklahoma students."

"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. "We must continue to push for more annual funding for our schools to reduce class size and restore more of the 28% of funds they cut from education over the last decade."

The OEA had also called for $10,000 pay raise for teachers over the next three years and $5,000 pay raises for full-time support professionals such as custodians, secretaries, bus drivers, food service workers.

"We asked for $10,000 over three years. This gets us part of the way there, and so we need to have the Legislature guarantee that we are still working to get to that," Priest had told CNN affiliate KFOR.

Arizona teachers: 'I don't want to strike, but I will.'

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

The color red was meant to convey their frustration which they say has reached a crisis level. Teachers have been wearing red shirts every Wednesday and encouraging supporters to do the same, according to the Arizona Education Association, which has 20,000 members who are teachers, counselors, bus drivers and retired educators.

Educators on Wednesday wore stickers reading: "I don't want to strike, but I will." The rally drew about 2,500 people, the Arizona Department of Public Safety told CNN affiliate KNXV.

Arizona Educators United, a coalition of educators, demands a 20% salary increase for teachers, competitive pay for all education support professionals as well as education funding restored to 2008 levels.

"Our classrooms go without updated textbooks, basic supplies, and technology. We have among the highest class sizes and school counselor loads in the nation making it difficult to meet the individual needs of our students," the group stated.

Arizona ranks 43rd in the nation in teacher salaries, according to the National Education Association.

Teachers say they are overworked and underpaid. They want better pay and are encouraging each other to organize via social media. They're hoping their very public display of frustration will pressure state leaders, such as Gov. Doug Ducey.

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.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 49575

Reported Deaths: 2739
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11812690
Lake5337247
Elkhart343257
Allen2867133
St. Joseph202569
Cass16439
Hamilton1629101
Hendricks1439100
Johnson1306118
Porter78038
Tippecanoe7439
Clark67144
Madison66864
Vanderburgh6296
LaPorte59727
Bartholomew59245
Howard58258
Kosciusko5654
Marshall5217
Noble49128
LaGrange4829
Jackson4773
Delaware46052
Boone45944
Hancock45736
Shelby43425
Floyd39144
Morgan32831
Monroe31528
Grant30226
Montgomery29720
Henry29316
Dubois2906
Clinton2882
White26810
Decatur25532
Lawrence25125
Dearborn24723
Vigo2408
Warrick23229
Harrison21722
Greene19132
Miami1892
Jennings17912
Putnam1708
DeKalb1634
Scott1628
Daviess15017
Wayne1496
Perry1409
Orange13623
Steuben1332
Franklin1278
Jasper1252
Ripley1247
Wabash1152
Carroll1122
Fayette1037
Gibson1032
Newton9910
Whitley995
Starke963
Huntington822
Randolph804
Wells791
Jefferson782
Fulton731
Jay680
Washington671
Pulaski661
Knox650
Clay644
Rush603
Owen511
Adams491
Posey490
Benton480
Spencer461
Sullivan451
Brown421
Blackford392
Fountain332
Crawford320
Tipton311
Switzerland280
Parke240
Martin220
Ohio210
Vermillion170
Warren151
Union130
Pike110
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 61331

Reported Deaths: 3006
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin11122439
Cuyahoga8518383
Hamilton6396206
Lucas2859304
Marion273739
Montgomery228335
Summit2269209
Pickaway220641
Mahoning1885239
Butler172147
Columbiana132460
Stark1171114
Lorain107368
Trumbull101474
Warren91825
Clark78410
Delaware64515
Fairfield61417
Tuscarawas59010
Belmont55822
Lake55122
Medina54832
Licking53612
Miami48631
Portage47759
Wood46151
Ashtabula43844
Clermont4367
Geauga41543
Wayne36752
Richland3595
Allen33841
Greene3009
Mercer29410
Erie26022
Darke25326
Holmes2524
Huron2342
Madison2069
Ottawa16124
Sandusky14215
Washington14220
Crawford1375
Ross1363
Putnam13315
Coshocton1323
Hardin12312
Morrow1201
Auglaize1094
Jefferson952
Muskingum921
Union921
Athens911
Monroe8917
Hancock841
Preble811
Hocking798
Lawrence790
Guernsey763
Shelby724
Williams722
Clinton700
Logan661
Fulton650
Ashland621
Wyandot615
Carroll603
Brown591
Scioto560
Defiance543
Knox531
Fayette510
Highland471
Champaign461
Van Wert430
Perry401
Seneca362
Henry320
Jackson270
Paulding270
Pike270
Adams241
Vinton222
Gallia201
Noble130
Harrison121
Meigs120
Morgan110
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Broken Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 84°
Angola
Broken Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 75°
Huntington
Broken Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 75°
Decatur
Broken Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 81°
Van Wert
Broken Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 81°
Breezy, Sunny Saturday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events