Education, Features, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, National

Oklahoma Republicans Say They’re Done Increasing School Funding

April 19, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.—Oklahoma teachers stayed out of schools for the 11th day Apr. 12, as state legislators said they had increased school funding as much as they were going to this year. “We’ve accomplished a whole lot, and I just don’t know how much more we can get done this session,” House assistant majority whip John Pfeiffer (R-Mulhall) told reporters Apr. 10. Gov. Mary Fallin signed bills Apr. 10 to increase revenues from Native American casinos and to raise about $20 million from Internet sales taxes, but she also signed one to repeal a hotel tax that teachers wanted preserved, and the legislature did not consider raising the state’s capital-gains tax. “Governor Fallin has spent years doing far too little for public education, so it’s no surprise that she took measures to further neglect students today,” Oklahoma Education Association President Alicia Priest said in a statement. “The governor and lawmakers keep closing the door on revenue options.” The legislature has approved about $450 million in additional funding, $150 million short of what teachers said schools needed. The walkout has closed schools serving about 500,000 of the state’s 700,000 students, including those in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, although districts in Moore and Bartlesville have ordered schools to reopen. Read more

 

April 19, 2018

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