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Day eight of walkout: OEA adjusts demands

Posted at 6:10 AM, Apr 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-11 07:59:17-04

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma Education Association is now asking for $50 million to end the teacher walkout.

That number is down from the $200 million they originally asked for.

Tuesday, Governor Mary Fallin repealed the hotel/motel tax. The $5 tax was part of a larger revenue package that passed before the teacher walkout got started.

 It provided teachers with an $6,100 raise, making the state more competitive in teacher pay.

Governor Fallin said the revenue package would not have passed the Senate if Republicans and Democrats had not agreed to repeal the hotel/motel tax.

Governor Fallin also said she will not support efforts to eliminate the state's capital gains deduction.

President of OEA Alicia Priest issued the following statement after the Governor signed th bills:

“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. The governor and lawmakers keep closing the door on revenue options when Oklahomans are asking for a better path forward. Filing for office starts Wednesday. Public education should be the issue this November. We need candidates who are worthy of our children.”

The Governor's actions are leaving much uncertainty when it comes to the rest of the walkout.

"At this point, I know it's been difficult on parents when their kids have been out of school for a week and a half with prospects where it doesn't look like we're going to be able to resolve this quickly," Sen. Michael Brooks said.

OEA said it is their job to educate the public on what educators need and legislators job to find the funding.

Senate bill 888 which repeals the refundable tax credit for wind energy is one solution lawmakers are looking at. It already passed the Senate committee.

If the bill is passed by legislators as it is now, it does not guarantee all of th revenue will go to education. It will also take into account the needs in public safety and roads.

"Everything that we've been able to pass so far is recurring revenue," Katherine Bishop, Vice President of OEA, said. "So we know we're going to have it year after year. That's what we need. We can't have one-time money to fund us one year and not the next."

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