Oklahoma teachers risk losing support as walkout continues

Published: 05th April 2018 11:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th April 2018 12:09 PM  

When Oklahoma Republicans finally passed a massive tax hike for hundreds of millions of new dollars for public schools and teacher pay raises, they thought they would get a thank you. Instead, educators and their supporters marched on the Capitol. They brought pent-up with them frustration after years of budget cuts, swelling class sizes and a decade without a raise. | AP
The teachers protests, and some school closures, will continue for a fourth straight day Thursday amid a movement in red states from West Virginia to Kentucky to Arizona to press for more money in classrooms. | AP
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Now these teachers face a tough question as the walkout threatens to keep many schools closed for the rest of the week: Do they risk losing public support for their efforts, especially after lawmakers handed them much of what they asked for?
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Ashleigh Hardwick, a single mom whose daughter attends elementary school in Norman, said she's had to rely on friends and family to watch her daughter while she works at a local florist shop, but that so far she's standing behind the teachers. | AP
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Many teachers already are back at work, especially in rural communities where local boards didn't vote to shut down. Still, schools in the state's largest districts remain shuttered, including Oklahoma City, Tulsa and many suburban communities. Thousands have thronged the Capitol for three straight days seeking more money for the classrooms. | AP
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Teachers now are pushing lawmakers to pass several more revenue-raising measures, including one that eliminates the income tax deduction for capital gains that would generate about $120 million annually. Another to expand tribal gaming would bring in about $20 million, but both of those measures face broad GOP opposition. | AP
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