Kentucky and Oklahoma teachers flood state capitals -- and refuse to back down

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"We won't let anyone disinvest in public education, we are here for the long haul", Alicia Priest, the head of the Oklahoma Education Association, the state's largest teachers union, told a cheering crowd outside the statehouse that organizers estimated at 30,000.

But the teachers have vowed to continue to protest until their demands are met by lawmakers. "The district will be sending daily updates to all local media outlets and through the PCPS Mobile App, district website (www.pcps.us) and Facebook page".

The Republican-controlled Kentucky House and Senate passed a surprise 291-page pension reform bill last week which, among other things, changes the pension plan for new teachers, according to the Courier Journal.

Republican Governor Matt Bevin has not yet signed the bill, but last week tweeted his support, saying public workers owe "a deep debt of gratitude" to lawmakers who voted to pass it.

The education budget has been cut in recent years.

This forced more than 20 counties' schools to shut down due to a lack of employees to teach the children.

"A lot of what's in it is still disturbing, and that's money that we've had no choice over. We are exhausted and great teachers are being driven out of the profession because they are burned out!"

"We, as educators, are truly appreciative of the initial efforts of the state legislature; but, view this as only a first step toward what truly needs to be accomplished", says Arrott. Attorney General Andy Beshear has said he will try to block SB 151 in court. "I can't afford f****** health insurance".

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"We've been cut over 28% in the last 10 years in education funding, and our schools just can't maintain all of the supplies, instructional materials, textbooks, even copy paper".

Dever said that while the pension bill was passed "in a deceitful and disrespectful way", that she was in Frankfort to also rally for school funding. "They have been after us since July 2017, and it has been very stressful for staff, students and parents".

"It's just an outright assault on public education". Most Republicans argued the bill will make Kentucky's tax code competitive with other states. That's higher than it's ever been.

In his first major speech he promised school leaders that the Government would "strip away" pointless tasks to allow teachers to "focus on what actually matters".

The GOP won control of the House for the first time in almost a century during the 2016 election cycle and hold a 63-37 supermajority in the lower chamber. But some educators - who haven't seen a pay increase in 10 years - say that isn't good enough and walked out.

But Democratic lawmaker Collin Walke said teachers should keep up the pressure. Piatt said she thought that was the right move because teachers have tried to make their voices heard during the session and with schools out, parents and others are starting to take notice.

Kentucky lawmakers have reached a deal to charge sales taxes on some services as part of an overhaul of the state's tax code to generate an extra $480 million over the next two years.

NPS officials announced on Friday they still intend to close schools on Monday, although the following school sites will be open to provide breakfast and lunch to NPS students: Adams Elementary, Eisenhower Elementary, Jackson Elementary, Jefferson Elementary, Kennedy Elementary, Lakeview Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Madison Elementary, Monroe Elementary, Reagan Elementary, Wilson Elementary, Alcott Middle School, Irving Middle School, Longfellow Middle School, Whittier Middle School, Dimensions Academy South, Norman High School, and Norman North High School.

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