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House Bill 2621 poses threat for second teacher walkout, educators say

Posted: 9:18 PM, Mar 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-09 03:18:50Z
Oklahoma teachers walkout and rally at state capitol to protest lack of state funding

It was nearly a year ago when thousands of teachers converged at the state capitol for the walkout.

A group of educators is threatening to do that again if House Bill 2621 passes. They say the measure takes money away from public schools.

State representative Jon Echols authored HB 2621, which allows people to claim tax credits for donating scholarship money for low-income students for private schools or making donation to local public schools.

“This is the bill that gives away millions of tax dollars,” Alicia Priest with the Oklahoma Education Association said.

Priest is encouraging legislators to vote no.

“You are then shifting money essentially away from public education,” Allen said.

Ed Allen with the Oklahoma City American Federation of teachers thinks it's a bad policy. But he says, teachers threatening another walkout if this bill passes isn't the way to go either.

“I don't know of a single [Oklahoma] school district who is advocating that if we don't get ‘x,’ we're going to send our teachers to the capitol. You can't do those things over and over and be effective,” Allen said.

Instead, Allen says he encourages teachers to wait and let the legislative process play out.

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