A few weeks ago, public school educators in West Virginia went on strike. Now, teachers in Oklahoma are taking a page from the West Virginia playbook. Thousands of public school teachers have taken to the streets to demand $3.3 billion over the next three years for school funding, benefits, and pay raises for all public employees.
“Oklahoma’s teachers are rebelling against a decade of state tax cuts that triggered deep cuts in education spending,” explained Vox’s Alexia Fernández Campbell, “forcing about 20 percent of public schools to switch to a four-day-week schedule and pushing average teacher salaries to rank 49th in the country. Teachers haven’t gotten a raise in 10 years.”
To add insult to injury, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) compared the overworked and underpaid teachers to “a teenage kid that wants a better car.”
Learn more about the movement and hear from Fernández Campbell on the latest episode of Today, Explained.
- Oklahoma teachers are protesting 10 years of low pay. Here’s what their walkout looks like. (Alexia Fernández Campbell and Kainaz Amaria, Vox)
- The West Virginia teachers strike, explained (Julie Bogen, Vox)
- “I feel mentally numb”: more teachers are working part-time jobs to pay the bills. (Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox)
- Your state’s teachers are underpaid. Find out by how much. (Alvin Chang, Vox)
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