Oklahoma Teachers just Went Home Smiling With a $6,100 Raise
What Bore the Salary Raise?
It is no surprise that the rumor of the Oklahoma teachers going on strike has reached the ears of the state lawmakers. This was made evident when the lawgivers raised the motion to improve the teachers’ salary.
Prior to this move and later acceptance on Thursday, the educators of Oklahoma have been known in the country as one of the poorest paid teachers. The passed bill has ensured that an average teacher in the state gets about $6,100 increase. While this is a good step, the educators have another number in mind.
The response of educators to the increase
While the move by the government to increase the paycheck of their educators is a nice call, a large number of teachers feel that more can be done to appreciate their services. As a result of their expectation, the instructors in Oklahoma will be embarking on their stay-at-home order on Monday.
The strike action by the Oklahoma teachers is coming one week after West Virginia concluded their statewide strike. The strike lasted for nine days before finally a deal was struck between the workers and the government for a 5% increase in pay for both teachers and workers.
While the Oklahoma teachers will be embarking on their stay-at-home order on Monday, the educators in Arizona are up and running for a 20% increase in their paycheck. This move was implemented on Wednesday, at the state capital by thousands of teachers. The strike does not only cover an increase in basic salary, but also an improvement in funding each student.
How the increase in Oklahoma teachers’ salary gets funded
A bill was passed into law in the Oklahoma general assembly. The statute titled HB1010XX ensures an increase in tax on several commodities and services. There is now a 16 percent increase in the tax rate for cigarettes, fuel purchase, and lodging.
The governor’s say about the development
The governess of the state, Mary Fallin expressed her approval for the increase suggested by the lawmakers. She said in the state history, the $6,100 increase in pay rate was the largest advancement ever witnessed. Furthermore, she disclosed that come Thursday afternoon, she will approve the new salary despite the move by the educators to continue their move to observe a stay-at-home order.
During her statement, the Governor applauded the Senate and the House of Representatives for their show of bipartisanship during the moments when the future of the bill was being deliberated. She was delighted that the House of Representative, at the beginning of the week, found it adequate that the educators get an increase of that number. And that the Senate supported the move.
She further stressed that by each arm of the state government approving the bill with their votes, they have succeeded to show the public that they hear them; that the efforts of the teachers are appreciated, and has paved a way to solidify the future of the state.
The response of the education system
While the governor of the state is delighted by the positive move, the Education Association of Oklahoma (OEA) is requesting that the salary of their teachers to be increased by $10,000 for about three years. Also, they want a $5,000 salary increase for their support professionals which will also last for three years.
Another issue the OAE is fighting for is the restoration of the money that has been cut off from the education budget for several years now. The dropped fund runs in millions of dollars.
When contacted, Alicia Priest, the president of OEA, said on Wednesday that the move by the legislative body was a good sign they were listening. However, she said this new investment wouldn’t undo all the damages that were incurred through a decade of continuous neglect.
The classrooms need fund and care to produce more productive results, and to get that care and fund, the teachers still have more work to do. According to her, this work is what they hoped to carry out on Monday to bring the ears of the state closer to their demands.
The scheduled strike which holds on Monday will see to it that lots of educators storm the capital of the state while undergoing the sit-at-home order. This move she believes will be enough to get their lawmakers to further their efforts toward improving the education sector of the state,
On their defense
In 2016 a research was conducted by the National Educational Association. The goal was to gain data regarding the state of the educational sector in each state. Based on the information gathered, Oklahoma was ranked 49 out of 50 states as one of the worst. Hence, the move by the educators seems to be what the region needs desperately.
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