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My 2 Cents: Education Leaders Pressure Lawmaker For Funding

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I don't blame Oklahoma school teachers for threatening a school shutdown, in fact, I think they've shown remarkable patience over the last several years.

Each year they're told the legislature will come up with something to increase the embarrassingly low salaries they're paid, and every year something gets in the way of it happening. Usually, you can blame it on a lack of real leadership at the state Capitol. 

When you hear education officials say Oklahoma is losing a generation of teachers to other states, it's true. I know some of those teachers personally, and some teachers-to-be who assume they'll have to leave Oklahoma to make a living wage in the classroom.

I want to give credit to the Oklahoma Education Association, the state's biggest teachers union, for its decision to push back a threatened teacher walk out to April 23.

That date gives the legislature time to pass a teacher pay raise, although it seems very unlikely it will be the $10,000 pay increase spread out over three years the OEA wants. I think they'll be lucky if it's half that.

I'm curious to see exactly what the OEA hopes to squeeze out of the state Capitol. It should be an interesting news conference Thursday.

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