Teachers Remain At Capitol Despite OEA Walkout Announcement

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OPEA Executive Director Sterling Zearley said, "Recent discussions focus exclusively on education funding and exclude public safety, veterans' services, mental health, protective services, or any other state agency services".

The Oklahoma Education Association gave legislators until late April to provide new revenues or face a walkout, but teachers protested and pushed the union to adopt an April 1 deadline.

Priest said Oklahoma teachers had secured a victory even though the most significant gains were achieved before the beginning of the walkout.

Thousands of teachers are rallying outside the Kentucky Capitol to call for more state funding for education.

Local sources of funding, like bonds, do not go as far in larger districts as they do in some of the smaller school districts in the state.

Oklahoma City schools had already announced it would remain closed on Friday.

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The Oklahoma City-American Federation of Teachers, which like the OEA opposed the strike from the beginning, acknowledged Friday that a poll it had conducted showed overwhelming support for the continuation of the strike.

In the days before the walkouts began, the state legislature approved more than $400 million in school spending.

Labor Education spokeswoman Susan Close said in opposition the Liberals were silent on the $210 million cut from SA funding.

One teacher described his feelings by quoting the end of "The Hollow Men" poem, saying, "This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper".

However, several dozen Moore teachers returned to the Capitol to great applause, a sign that not every teacher was ready to end the walkout.

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

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"You'll be able to walk away with the medication you need", said Kevin Supple, the chief financial officer with the Francis Howell School District. Although lawmakers passed some bills teachers lobbied for last week, lawmakers still refused to meet all of teacher's demands. The district is obligated to cover these costs which come out of our general fund. "The Oklahoma Education Association has its own process for ending the walkout; we have ours".

"It is due to their voices that they were going to be here and what they were going to accomplish that helped move this piece of legislation, I really truly feel like that legislature wanted to get it done quickly so people wouldn't come - that didn't work", Bishop said. It's calling on teachers to go back to the classroom.

However, Oppel admitted that if districts call their teachers back it will be hard to stay at the Capitol.

"The unions don't want a popular outcry and they are trying to sabotage this struggle", Misty, a young teacher from the Oklahoma City area, told the World Socialist Web Site. In a New York Times article declaring the Oklahoma strike over, AFT President Randi Weingarten expressed hope that teachers' anger could be diverted behind a campaign to elect Democrats in the 2018 elections. "It is a short-term win, but my focus is how do we turn this into a long-term focus on education".

"What we're asking for is revenue streams that will be sustainable from this point forward, so that this walkout doesn't have to happen again in the coming years", she said.

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