Oklahoma teacher walkout in 4th day; taxes on Internet sales eyed

Hundreds of Oklahoma teachers packed the state Capitol on the fourth consecutive day of a walkout -- even as the Sen...

Posted: Apr 6, 2018 1:22 AM
Updated: Apr 6, 2018 1:22 AM

Hundreds of Oklahoma teachers packed the state Capitol on the fourth consecutive day of a walkout -- even as the Senate was poised to examine a bill that could raise more education funding from sales on Amazon and other Internet sites.

Schools in Oklahoma City and Tulsa were closed Thursday because of the walkout. Many other schools were open, but even some of them were represented by at least one teacher at the protests in Oklahoma City.

Besides cramming the Capitol's rotunda, protesting teachers swarmed the grounds outside, holding signs such as "Stronger Together" and "Help Us!"

Meanwhile, some protesting teachers from the Tulsa area were on their second day of a planned seven-day, 110-mile walk to the capital.

"This whole thing is for our kids, our students. If we're willing to walk this long and this far, what is the Oklahoma legislation willing to do for our kids?" Heather Cody, a third-grade teacher at Mayo Demonstration School in Tulsa, said Wednesday.

Teachers and the state government are at odds over salaries and funding. Gov. Mary Fallin recently signed a bill that raises the average teacher salary by $6,100, but the teachers union wanted that figure to be $10,000.

Fallin also signed a bill that raises education funding by $50 million; the teachers' union wanted that number to be higher.

More funding is indeed being considered. On Wednesday, the state House passed a bill amendment that would require sales from third-party retailers selling though Internet outlets such as Amazon to be subject to sales tax. The Senate could vote on that measure Friday.

Alicia Priest, president of the Oklahoma Education Association, said that measure would provide an additional $20 million annually in education funding.

"This is a win for students and educators and signals major progress toward funding the schools our students deserve," she said in a statement.

Teachers in Oklahoma say more spending on education is needed, asserting that things such as facilities, equipment and textbooks are run down, outdated or in short supply.

The state ranks 49th in the nation in teacher salaries, according to the National Education Association, in a list that includes Washington, DC. Mississippi and South Dakota rank lower.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 161516

Reported Deaths: 3916
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10863104
Hinds10705207
Harrison7624114
Jackson6774131
Rankin6303114
Lee557798
Madison5311112
Forrest405587
Jones388589
Lauderdale3754149
Lafayette347358
Washington3421108
Lamar310350
Lowndes265168
Oktibbeha262763
Bolivar254686
Panola243754
Neshoba2333124
Marshall229451
Leflore216492
Monroe216278
Pontotoc213631
Lincoln203267
Sunflower198156
Warren189559
Tate187251
Union179626
Copiah176141
Pike170860
Pearl River168170
Itawamba166637
Scott166030
Yazoo164441
Alcorn161529
Coahoma160044
Prentiss159034
Simpson156954
Grenada149545
Adams148852
Leake146244
George138326
Covington137642
Holmes136861
Tippah135230
Winston134326
Hancock132842
Wayne127424
Attala126836
Marion126548
Tishomingo116444
Newton114929
Chickasaw112632
Tallahatchie101227
Clay98527
Clarke96954
Jasper90023
Stone85115
Calhoun82413
Montgomery80726
Walthall80430
Carroll78115
Lawrence76814
Smith76516
Yalobusha75728
Noxubee74817
Perry70127
Greene66023
Tunica64019
Amite61815
Jefferson Davis60818
Claiborne59716
Humphreys56119
Benton51018
Quitman5107
Kemper50019
Webster49514
Wilkinson42522
Jefferson39012
Franklin3866
Choctaw3757
Sharkey33517
Issaquena1254
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 264199

Reported Deaths: 3831
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson35310515
Mobile20626372
Madison14521153
Tuscaloosa13897173
Montgomery12844246
Shelby1127878
Baldwin9501138
Lee807167
Morgan740555
Etowah704870
Marshall695358
Calhoun6939126
Houston559140
DeKalb521843
Cullman490650
St. Clair466557
Limestone462446
Lauderdale452257
Elmore440070
Walker3914112
Talladega386157
Jackson373523
Colbert347948
Blount323146
Autauga294542
Franklin265534
Coffee260023
Dale247355
Dallas236832
Chilton235445
Covington234834
Russell23433
Escambia208832
Tallapoosa192692
Chambers189154
Clarke165422
Pike165215
Marion150236
Winston146325
Lawrence139936
Pickens129720
Geneva12929
Marengo127824
Bibb127038
Barbour121729
Butler121142
Cherokee108224
Randolph108022
Fayette102216
Hale102132
Clay95527
Washington94222
Henry9097
Monroe85311
Lowndes82930
Cleburne80914
Macon77522
Crenshaw73830
Lamar7348
Conecuh73215
Bullock71120
Perry7037
Wilcox65918
Sumter60122
Greene45818
Choctaw43620
Coosa3854
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