Duncan teachers head to Oklahoma State Capitol

Education Notes: Southern Arizona educators rallying for funding

The rally Monday is happening after hundreds of Kentucky teachers called in sick Friday to protest last-minute changes to their pension system.

The red-state teachers rebellion that started in West Virginia continues to grow, with teachers in Kentucky and Oklahoma walking out on Monday after the Kentucky teachers shut down schools in almost two dozen counties on Friday.

Edmond Memorial High School English teacher Regan Killackey said he was hosting his classes on the Oklahoma Capitol lawn in order to show students the importance of funding kids' education.

Last week, the state's Republican-controlled legislature passed a revenue package that included pay raises for teachers. The move was done in response to chronic underfunding of the state's teacher retirement system and in defiance of a powerful teachers union that vowed political retribution. Kentucky teachers continued to strike on Monday, leading to the shuttering of all public schools in the state. "And every year they've taken more and more of that away".

I explained that mine is a school teacher family.

Christine Wertz, a fourth grade teacher at Bixby North Intermediate, says she's grateful for the teacher raise passed last week, but teacher retention will be tough if the teaching environment is challenging with large class sizes. "We must be responsible not to neglect other areas of need in the state such as corrections and health and human services as we continue to consider additional education funding measures". As both a teacher and parent in Mid-Del, I am more concerned with the complete disregard for education funding.

NESA wants the Eagle Arts School to close even though it is only one of three small schools on the Central Coast which cater for teenagers who struggle with mainstream high schools.

The teachers have ditched their classrooms to rally instead at the state capitols of the two states on Monday to demand for improved funding from lawmakers. Teachers in Arizona are now considering a strike over their demands for a 20% salary increase.

"So if we have the right funding then we can be good we can have dedicated certified teachers in the classroom to teach the students.If we have the funding we have the textbooks, we have the materials".

Last month, Education Secretary Damian Hinds pledged to cut teachers' hours and workload in a bid to tackle staff shortages in schools.

"They had to make us go to the extreme, and now they're just trying to throw a Band-Aid on it and it's just not going to work", Morejon said.

The plan offers an average $6,000 pay increase for all teachers, but it starts at $5,000 for first-year teachers and is expected to gradually increase over time. In Frankfort, groups of teachers gathered under banners bearing names of school districts spread from Pike County in eastern Kentucky to Marshall County in the west.

Oklahoma teachers are demanding a $10,000 raise over the next three years and a $5,000 raise for school workers.

"I have that in writing; can you imagine the arrogance of the NESA saying they will ignore the Anti-Discrimination Board".

It wasn't just sacked lunches, Viridian coffee served the teachers donuts and coffee as they got on the bus, and supporters lined the streets as they left.

"The raise provided to teachers is the largest raise in the history of Oklahoma". And in Kentucky, educators are fighting legislation that they say would disrupt their pension plans.

There's been a lot of uncertainty in Sidney over the past couple of years regarding student enrollment and how the school budget will change with property valuations. But she says they will keep showing up at the Capitol until lawmakers restore a portion of the $200 million that's been cut from school budgets over the past decade.

"We don't take care of our kids in any way, shape or form" in Oklahoma, Mason said.

Republicans ultimately introduced a bill that did not include many of Bevin's preferred cuts or new funding for charter schools, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal, though many protesters and legislative Democrats still criticized it for cutting taxes on the rich and falling short of previous K-12 education funding levels.

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