Oklahoma teachers wait for lawmakers to meet funding conditions
The Associated Press - April 8, 2018 11:32 am
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Leaders of Oklahoma’s largest teachers union say protests at the state Capitol will continue into a second week while they wait for lawmakers to meet their terms for increased education funding.
Demonstrations are expected again Monday.
Union demands include lawmakers passing a repeal of a capital gains tax exemption and Republican Gov. Mary Fallin vetoing a repeal of a proposed lodging tax.
The $5-per-night lodging tax would generate about $50 million annually. It’s faced fierce opposition from chambers of commerce and the hospitality industry. Axing the capital gains tax deduction would generate about $120 million annually.
The Senate Friday sent Fallin two bills projected to generate $40 million annually for education by expanding tribal gambling and taxing certain internet sales. Teachers said that’s not enough.
Fallin has already approved raising teacher pay by about $6,100. The Union persists that pay raises are not their only concern, as they’re also seeking funding for programs, classrooms, textbooks, and other supplies that are sorely needed to provide a quality education to Oklahoma children.