BREAKING: Okla. Passes More School Bills, But Teachers Vow To Continue Strike

(Rachell Cantrell and her schoolteacher mother, Beth Cantrell, march at the teachers’ rally at the state capitol in Oklahoma City. Photograph: J Pat Carter/AFP/Getty Images)

As the Oklahoma State Legislature passes measures to increase school funding, Payday Senior Labor Reporter Mike Elk filed a dispatch for the Guardian from Stroud, Oklahoma:

“Today the legislature started to hear us,” the OEA said in a statement. “The passage of clean versions of the ‘ball and dice’ legislation, HB 3375, and the Amazon tax bill, HB 1019, were vital to Oklahoma students. Because of the educators, parents and students who have taken to the Capitol this past week, the new funding for Oklahoma’s students nearly doubled.”

However, the OEA also criticized the repeal of a recently passed $47m hotel and motel tax, which had been slated to boost education funding, as a sign of bad-faith bargaining by Republican leadership.

“We call on Governor [Mary] Fallin to immediately veto [the repeal] because it steals $42m in funding away from Oklahoma’s students,” the OEA said.

The teachers vowed not to end their strike until the state passed senate bill 1086, which would close a loophole in the state’s capital gains tax and raise an estimated $100m for classroom resources. The Oklahoma GOP has so far refused to consider raising the capital gains tax.

Go to the Guardian to read the full dispatch. 

About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing nearly 2,000 stories from 46 states, Elk traveled with Lula from Sáo Bernando do Campos all the way to the Oval Office in the White House. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]

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