Oklahoma GOP leaders say lawmakers will take up money-raising bills Friday -- a rarity for Oklahoma lawmakers who typically don't go to the Capitol on the final day of the workweek. But a top teachers union leader said Thursday that he did not believe the measures under consideration would be enough to prevent a teacher walkout from stretching into next week.
Oklahoma Education Association Executive Director David Duvall said Thursday that union officials still are crunching numbers on the proposals to expand tribal gaming and tax certain Internet sales that would generate about $40 million dollars annually.
Duvall said that union members will decide when to end the walkout that has shuttered some of the state's largest school districts all week, but that he expects teachers to return to the Capitol next week.
The Senate is expected to take up the two measures on Friday and send them to the Republican Governor Mary Fallin for her signature.
Fallin has faced the brunt of criticism from teachers, many of whom blame the term-limited governor for supporting tax cuts and generous state subsidies for businesses that have led to declines in state funding for schools and other state services. The governor further raised the ire of teachers after an interview this week in which she likened striking teachers to a "teenage kid that wants a better car."
The governor signed legislation last week granting teachers pay raises of about $6,100, or 15 to 18 percent, as well as tens of millions of new dollars for public schools. But many educators said classrooms need more money, joining a movement of teachers that has ignited protests in other Republican-led states including West Virginia, Kentucky and Arizona.
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Two southeast Kansas residents pleaded guilty yesterday (Sept. 24) to second degree murder and other charges for a cap on sentencing. They both also agreed to testify against a third suspect. According to court documents, robbery and shooting happened on January 29th, 2017 at 2334 E. Zora St. in Joplin, Missouri. Authorities say Azaiah Forester, Brock Robinson, Erik Jones and Taven Williams broke into the home to steal property. While inside, documents say Robinso...More >>
A Baxter Springs, Kansas man is sentenced for biting a Sheriff's Deputy. In December of 2017, Cherokee County Sheriff Deputies responded to a domestic disturbance in rural Baxter Springs. When they arrived at the home of 61-year-old Allen Orlando Martin, they found him and a female. Deputies tried to detain Martin, but he resisted, leading to a physical struggle between Martin and the deputies. During the struggle, authorities say Martin bit a deputy's arm, breaking the skin. In...More >>
Entertainer Bill Cosby, once known as "America's Dad," was sentenced Tuesday to three to 10 years in a state prison for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home 14 years ago. "This was a serious crime," Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O'Neill said. "Mr. Cosby, this has all circled back to you. The day has come, the time has come." Cosby, convicted in April of ...More >>
You might remember in 2016, the Fort Worth, TX Zoo needed some help naming its new baby gorilla. They opened up the naming process for zoo goers to vote on their favorite. After a rally by Pittsburg State University supporters, that gorilla got his name: Gus. The Fort Worth Zoo sent a 2018 update to PSU, including a photo: Gus is 37 in. tall, and his arm span is 51 in. He eats tomatoes by the handful for breakfast and lunch, and also enjoys a sweet potato every now and t...More >>