Oklahoma’s teachers earned a raise and additional funding for students this Spring after going on strike:
Oklahoma’s largest teachers union on Thursday called off a nearly two-week walkout that shut public schools statewide, saying it had secured historic gains in education funding after school budgets were devastated by a decade of cuts.
The move came after the Republican-dominated legislature passed its first major tax hikes in a quarter century that raised about $450 million in revenue for education.
The strike occurred because Oklahoma’s Republican Governor and Legislature had passed tax cuts for oil and gas companies that had left the State’s budget decimated, which led to a full 20 percent of Oklahoma’s school districts being force to only be able to hold classes 4 days a week, and Oklahoma ranking 49th in the nation in teacher pay.
It was well past time for the school funding problem to be fixed, and the people of Oklahoma agreed:
We asked Oklahomans if they support or oppose teachers’ efforts to close schools and go on strike until an increase in funding is secured.The survey was conducted by SoonerPoll and asked more than 550 likely Oklahoma voters their opinions on the teacher walkout.More than 70 percent of people said they support the decision. In fact, 56 percent of them say they strongly support it.
However, despite that overwhelming public support, there was still a group of Republicans, led by former GOP Senator Tom Coburn, who attempted to reverse the gains in school funding that were won by the teacher’s strike:
Blasting state legislative leaders, former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn on Wednesday helped launch a group vowing ballot box fights against higher taxes and the lawmakers supporting revenue packages.
Coburn, a popular figure with Oklahoma conservatives for more than 20 years, said state legislators could find the money for teacher pay raises by conducting proper oversight of government agencies and eliminating waste and duplication.
“So teachers, don’t take this as something against you,” Coburn, of Tulsa, said at a news conference at the Capitol. “This is about the leadership that leads Oklahoma.”
And guess who signed onto their petition: none other than the GOP nominee for Governor, businessman and anti-vaxxer Kevin Stitt:
Republican gubernatorial candidate Kevin Stitt, a Tulsa businessman who has never held elective office, signed the pledge.
Oklahomans do not want to go back to 4 day school weeks. Oklahomans should not vote for Kevin Stitt.