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Thousands of Teachers in Red States Are Leading the Charge for Better School Funding

Mother Jones

On Monday morning, tens of thousands of Oklahoma teachers stormed the state Capitol to urge lawmakers to approve better pay and more funding for their classrooms. At the same time, more than 800 miles away, a similar demonstration was under way: thousands of Kentucky teachers marched to Frankfort to rally against new changes to the state pension program and echo the call from their Oklahoma peers and educators across the country. Inspired by the nine-day strike in West Virginia that ended in 5 percent raise for teachers, educators in Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Arizona have walked out of schools in recent weeks and headed to their state Capitols to urge legislators to demand adequate school funding after years of cuts. Monday's protest prompted 200 Oklahoma schools to close. Last week, Republican Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill that raised teachers' salaries by up to $6,100, depending on experience, by raising gas and oil taxes and adding tobacco for the first time since 1990--a departure from previous years of tax cuts from the deeply conservative state legislature.

Teacher strikes in Oklahoma, Kentucky shutter hundreds of schools amid demands for better pay

FOX News

Teachers gather outside the state Capitol to rally for increased funding. Hundreds of schools in Oklahoma and Kentucky were forced to remain closed Tuesday as teachers continue to strike for better wages and education funding. Teachers in Arizona were also rumored to be planning a strike for better pay as well. Hundreds of educators in Oklahoma walked out Friday after Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation last week granting teacher salary raises of about $6,100, or 15 to 18 percent. Some teachers – who haven't seen a pay increase in 10 years – felt it was not enough.

School bus collides with another vehicle, leaving 3 dead, including one child, authorities say

FOX News

Three people, including one child, died after a traffic collision involving a school bus in Oklahoma. Three people, including a child, died Friday after a vehicle and school bus collided in Oklahoma, authorities said. The child was riding on the school bus and the other two people confirmed dead were in the other vehicle involved in the Seminole County collision, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said. Their identities have not been released. Details on the extent of their injuries and what led to the collision were not released.

Tornado eyed in Tulsa, Oklahoma; at least 25 hurt

FOX News

At least 25 people were injured early Sunday after a possible tornado touched down in Tulsa, Oklahoma, officials said. St. Francis Hospital told FOX 23 at least 25 patients came into the emergency room with minor storm-related injuries. Damage to businesses after a possible tornado was reported in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The storm damaged multiple businesses in the midtown section of the city, located southeast of downtown. Some of the heaviest damage was reported near Interstate 44, where several buildings lost portions of their roofs, and signs were torn down.

'Madder than hornets': Kentucky and Oklahoma teachers rally as red state rebellion grows

The Japan Times

OKLAHOMA CITY – The state Capitol in Kentucky filled with teachers protesting pension changes Monday, and thousands of Oklahoma educators walked out of classrooms in the latest evidence of teacher rebellion in some Republican-led states over education cuts. Many Oklahoma schools, including the three largest districts of Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Edmond, were closed Monday. Districts announced plans to keep campuses shut down into Tuesday with teacher demonstrations expected to last a second day. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation last week granting teachers pay raises of about $6,100, or 15 to 18 percent. But some educators say that isn't good enough and walked out.