Oklahoma Senate takes up tax hike to halt week-long teachers' strike

The comments also expressed frustration after she signed a a bill that gave teachers and support staff in the state a salary increase of between 15 and 18 percent

The comments also expressed frustration after she signed a a bill that gave teachers and support staff in the state a salary increase of between 15 and 18 percent

Teachers in Oklahoma say more spending on education is needed, asserting that school facilities, equipment and textbooks are rundown, outdated or in short supply.

The bill would affect new teachers and move them to a hybrid cash-balance plan rather than traditional pensions, and would limit new sick days that teachers can put toward their retirement.

"We're very close", teachers' union president Alicia Priest told The Oklahoman newspaper.

She also wanted the legislature to implement a hotel tax that was passed last month but later halted by lawmakers.

The strike has garnered strong public backing, with a statewide survey from the Sooner Poll agency showing that 72.1 percent of respondents supported the walk-out.

More than 55 of the state's 500-plus school districts - including those in Oklahoma City and Tulsa - were closed Friday because of the walkout, CNN affiliate KOCO reported.

The Senate approved two additional bills on Friday that are created to raise $40 million more for schools.

Fallin has said she supports a teacher pay-raise and is expected to sign the measures.

Duvall said that union members will decide when to end the walkout that has shuttered some of the state's largest school districts all week, but that he expects teachers to return to the Capitol next week.

South Africa's ex-President Jacob Zuma charged with corruption
But Durban city centre was a sea of black, green and gold, as well as T-shirts with a photograph of a smiling Mr Zuma. A group, including religious, business and political leaders have expressed their support for the former president.

Some have spent the entire school week at the Capitol, filling galleries and joining rallies outside.

The Oklahoma Education Association says the motel tax, which it says would be paid by mostly nonresidents of the state, would add millions in revenue and opposes its repeal.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation last week that granted 15 to 18 percent salary increases for Oklahoma teachers, but teachers say more funding is needed for classroom needs.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is looking into potential threats that were made against at least three state lawmakers related to the ongoing teacher rally at the Capitol. Even with the pay raise approved by lawmakers, they would still receive lower mean salaries than teachers in every neighboring state, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data showed.

As a outcome of low pay at home and better opportunities across state lines, Oklahoma is grappling with a teacher shortage that has forced some school districts to cut curricula, go to a four-day school week and deploy almost 2,000 emergency-certified instructors as a stopgap measure.

A major cause of budget strain comes from tax breaks Oklahoma granted to its energy industry, which were worth $470 million in fiscal-year 2015 alone.

They are upset over a controversial pension bill that state lawmakers passed last week.

As a effect of low pay at home and better opportunities across state lines, Oklahoma is grappling with a teacher shortage that has forced some school districts to cut curricula, and go to a four-day school week.

Oklahoma teachers vowed on Thursday to keep up their protests after the U.S. state's lawmakers bowed to intense pressure and approved more school funding - but the pledge still fell short of teachers' demands.

Recommended News

  • Vehicle  crashes into crowd in Muenster, some dead

    Vehicle crashes into crowd in Muenster, some dead

    A van attack in the western German city of Muenster has left several people dead and at least a dozen injured on Saturday. A police officer stands near the scene where a auto crashed into a group of people in Muenster, Germany , killing several.
    Woman sues fertility doctor for using his sperm to father her

    Woman sues fertility doctor for using his sperm to father her

    The lawsuit also states Mortimer "cried" when the mother informed him they were moving from Idaho to Washington state. Her parents, who are now divorced, were having difficulty conceiving and approached Dr Gerald E Mortimer for help.
    Amazon Echo Speakers Now Work as Intercoms

    Amazon Echo Speakers Now Work as Intercoms

    Google began offering this same functionality for its Google Home line of smart speakers this past November. Which Echo devices support the feature? The retailer's latest announcement may help drive home that fact.
  • NY  police kill man wielding pipe

    NY police kill man wielding pipe

    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a news conference Thursday that the incident was "a tragedy by any measure". NY officials, however, are defending the officers' actions, implying their decisions made sense in the moment.
    Gold Coast, Australia, April 3, 2018

    Gold Coast, Australia, April 3, 2018

    Gold medalists Shayna Jack, Bronte Campbell, Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell of Australia celebrate on the podium. Horton tracked the leading duo in the first half of the race before making his charge in the final 150m.
    Malaysian PM dissolves parliament, tough election expected

    Malaysian PM dissolves parliament, tough election expected

    Prime Minister Najib Razak's announcement sets the stage for a election contest against seasoned politician Mahathir Mohamad. . Najib said he met Malaysian Sultan Muhammad V to gain approval for the dissolution.
  • Body Discovered Near Site of California Cliff Crash That Killed Family

    Body Discovered Near Site of California Cliff Crash That Killed Family

    Three other children, Devonte, 15, Hannah, 16, and Sierra, 12, were not found and are feared to be dead. Authorities have said that data from the vehicle's software suggested the crash was deliberate.
    Tour bus headed to Masters overturns, driver charged with DUI

    Tour bus headed to Masters overturns, driver charged with DUI

    Authorities in east Georgia report a bus carrying 19 people has flipped on I-20 closing all eastbound lanes fo traffic. Get daily prep sports headlines from the Gwinnett Daily Post staff delivered to your email.
    Crude Oil Eases Despite Inventories Drawdown

    Crude Oil Eases Despite Inventories Drawdown

    There was a significant impact in U.S. commodity markets, with soybeans recording their biggest one-day fall in nearly a year. Saudi Oil Minister Khalid Al-Falih recently spoke about long-term co-operation running over 10 to 20 years.
  • Brazil's Lula to turn himself in to police, claims innocent

    Brazil's Lula to turn himself in to police, claims innocent

    Choosing the metal workers union to take refuge, and not the Workers' Party headquarters, was also significant, said Santoro. To his Workers' Party faithful, Lula is a victim of an out-of-control judiciary preventing him from returning to power.
    USA  imposes sanctions against Putin's son-in-law, other Russian oligarchs

    USA imposes sanctions against Putin's son-in-law, other Russian oligarchs

    Mr Deripaska has been placed under U.S. sanctions previously, but officials said those announced Friday were more comprehensive. Mikhail Fradkov, head of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, a research and analysis centre set up by the president.
    Duterte OKs six-month closure of Boracay tourist island

    Duterte OKs six-month closure of Boracay tourist island

    Philippine tourism stakeholders had previously warned that closing Boracay would damage the whole of the country's tourism. The decision has prompted airlines to scale down their flights and hotels to prepare for cancellations of bookings.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.