Why teachers are walking out of the classroom
– by Michael Sykes April 1, 2018 at Axios
“Teachers in Oklahoma are planning to walk out of the classroom next week to demand a salary increase, part of a wave of teacher activism across the country from Arizona to West Virginia.”
“Why this matters: Teachers are protesting for pay raises and better benefits. In most states their salaries haven’t kept pace with inflation.”
Data: National Center for Education Statistics, The Council for Community and Economic Research; Note: Estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, adjusted for inflation; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios
“The teachers in Oklahoma, who are planning to walk out on April 2 if no agreement is reached with the state, are following teachers in West Virginia who walked out of the classroom for nine days before finally getting state legislators to authorize a pay raise. Teachers in Denver and Arizona have also discussed walking out of the classroom for better funding and pay raises. Teachers in Kentucky had a sick-out on March 30.
• Since 2008, Oklahoma reduced its funding per student by 28.2%, per a report from Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and about 20% of the schools in the state can only have classes four days a week.
• Oklahoma teachers want a raise of $6,000 the first year to reach cost of living rates in Oklahoma and another $4,000 over the next two years, plus $200 million into the school system’s operation funds over three years and well as better medical care for students with health difficulties.
• Oklahoma teachers haven’t seen a salary increase since 2008. Oklahoma legislators raised taxes on Wednesday night for the first time in 28 years to give teachers $447 million for raises. However, teachers say that isn’t good enough.”