West Virginia teacher strike inspires Oklahoma, Arizona

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Several area school districts are meeting or have met to discuss if teachers will still walkout.

Other districts, however, are backing off of the walkout idea.

About 125 students from Ryan High School and Junior High walked out in support of the possible teacher walkout next week.

About 25 districts in the KTEN viewing area have said they will close their doors to students on April 2 as teachers travel to the State Capitol to lobby for higher wages.

"This is not just about a pay raise. These teachers, we are in the trenches, we are in the day to day involvement with these kids, and we know what these kids need and we also know how far we've gone without that funding". "I am anxious about them going hungry but I am also anxious about their futures".

The Oklahoma House of Representatives has passed HB1010XX, a bill to fund a pay raise for teachers that includes a $447 million tax increase.

"After ten long years in a lot of these conservative states, the chicken is finally coming home to roost", said Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association, the 3-million member union with which the Oklahoma Education Association is affiliated. A group that calls itself Southwest Oklahoma Teachers Unite rallied for teacher pay raises and education funding.

School leaders said they are using textbooks that are older than most of their senior students.

Priest said in the last couple of months, multiple bills have failed to meet the supermajority threshold, but teachers didn't give up. "Our school is about community and we take pride in that, but also our kids are very important to us and we are fighting for them".

"It doesn't get us enough copy paper so we aren't begging parents for some by November".

Cobb said he believes a work stoppage will "help us advocate for better resources for our students".

Kentucky's average teacher salary was $52,135 in 2016, putting them at 26th in the nation.

More experienced classroom teachers would receive an even larger raise based on years of service and their certification. Now, teachers in Arizona thronged their GOP-run Capitol this week, demanding a 20 percent teacher pay hike. "They he sent a survey asking if we were going to be in school Tuesday". As they push for more education funding from lawmakers inside, fire marshals will be monitoring crowds on each floor. "No; but this is a great start". Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City. "This bill allows us to begin to reverse Oklahoma's severe teacher shortage and begin attracting new talent to the profession while also rewarding career educators".

"There (are) a lot of folks that are going to have hard decisions to make over the next week, and I don't know that anybody can really predict what those decisions are going to look like", he said.