Thousands Of Teachers Bused To Walkout Rally At The Capitol
03 April, 2018, 12:14 | Author: Regina Silva
While there are no signs of planned protests or organizing over similar demands here in California, the California Teachers Association tweeted late Sunday in support of Oklahoma teachers.
Some of the poorest teachers in America were also there as the lawmakers voted. Teachers in the state are not eligible for Social Security benefits.
The wave of red-state teacher walkouts stems partially from the fact that they don't have strong collective bargaining laws, according to Agustina Paglayan, an incoming assistant professor of political science and public policy at the University of California, San Diego, and a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Global Development.
Some teachers said they plan to sit in on the legislative session while the others protest around the state capital.
"I have to work that second job because I'm a single mom with a teenage daughter", she said.
Kindergarten teacher Teresa Eaton of Pocola School District said teachers remain hopeful.
The state's 20 largest school districts, which teach almost half of the state's public school students, closed Monday.
Pendleton County School District, located in northern Kentucky, was closed on Monday, and posted this message on its website: "Although closing school is the last thing anyone wants to do, one of the reasons for this decision to close school is because educators feel one of their main responsibilities is to advocate for the children of the Commonwealth". With teachers absent from schools, Fairview, Floyd, Lewis, Martin, Paintsville, and Pike County school districts canceled school on Monday. But upon arriving in Frankfort, it was clear that the crowd had exceeded expectations. They said they're proud to see their co-workers, amongst the more than 30,000 people at the State Capitol voicing their concerns.
"The job was never completed", said Jim Gonzalez, a P.E. teacher at Wilson Elementary. "If it'd been a regular school day, it'd have been 10 times this". Kentucky teachers continued to protest on Monday, leading to the shuttering of all public schools in the state.
Jarvis says he and other OEA members are walking out - and they're planning on staying out, until a plan is passed that teachers are happy with. "But we were promised a full pension and full health care". For the past ten years, funding has been taken from the school without any coming back.
The protests weren't aimed only at last week's pension overhaul.
Teachers and other school employees filled the streets outside the Kentucky Education Association office Monday.
Amanda Carter, a middle school teacher from Rowan County, says the plan doesn't provide the same security as the conventional defined-benefit pensions now received by teachers.
Teachers also praised Rep. Mark McBride, R-Moore, for his support. "It's take the money and run". Republicans hold 72 seats, so they need Democrats.
The protests in Oklahoma and Kentucky come about a month after West Virginia teachers won an important victory, with the state's House of Delegates and Senate unanimously approving a bill awarding all state employees, including teachers and school staff, a 5 percent pay increase after educators staged a nine-day classroom walkout that shutdown every school district in the state, claiming that they were among the lowest-paid educators in the country. In Arizona, hundreds of teachers walked out last week, and there have been rumbles as far away as New Mexico and Alaska.
The bad state budget, deficit too high, pension needs reform?
If they don't get what they want, he threatens continuing protests into the summer and beyond.
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