Oklahoma teachers held a walkout for increased education funding for the first time since 1990. Here's a timeline of some of the key events that took place leading up to and during the event.
January 11: Business and community leaders release $581 million plan intended to reduce Oklahoma debt, increase money for education and eliminate waste.
February 12: Step Up Oklahoma rally in OKC. Hundreds of teachers and students from across the state attended a rally at the Capitol in support of the "Step Up Oklahoma" plan. Part of that plan - introduced by a group of Oklahoma business and civic leaders - includes new taxes to give Oklahoma teachers a $5,000 pay raise.
February 13: Step Up Oklahoma plan - Bill 1033 - fails in the House of Representatives.
February 14: "It's Not Cool. Fund Our School" Tulsa Edison students hold walkout to protest lack of school funding.
February 28: Bartlesville school board, teachers, parents and other members of the community meet to discuss a possible suspension of classes in April. More than 500 people attend the special meeting of the school board.
March 1: Sand Springs students hold walkout to protest state funding cuts.
March 5: OEA President Alicia Priest announces a survey the OEA says found 80 percent of teachers and 76 percent of parents support a walkout. She said they were finalizing a list of demands that - at the time - included a $10,000 pay raise for teachers over three years and a $5,000 pay raise for support workers over the same time period. The demands also included a general funding increase that was not yet determined.
March 7: OEA announces school walkout date of April 2 if the state Legislature doesn't pass an education budget with raises.
March 8: Work To Contract. OEA asks Tulsa Public School teachers to work only during school hours in protest.
March 10: State workers, represented by the Oklahoma Public Employee Association, vote to strike alongside teachers if they don't get raises. They ask for a $2,500 pay increase per state employee for each of the next three years, and they want lawmakers to reverse recent cuts to state agencies.
March 11: Tulsa Public School Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist announces they support teachers beginning a "work the contract" effort starting March 12 through the end of the month.
March 13: Tulsa teachers begin "Work To Contract" protest, completing only their 7 hour and 50 minute day.
March 23: OEA unveils $905.7 million plan to avoid teacher walkout.
March 26: State House passes $447 million tax bill to give Oklahoma teachers raises they demand in House Bill 1010xx. The bill included increases in the taxes on motor fuel, both gasoline and diesel, a $5 per room tax on hotels and motels and an increase on the tax on oil and natural gas production, called gross production, from 2-percent to five percent. The main sticking point in negotiations for about a year now.
March 28: State Senate passes $447 million tax bill a tax increase on fuel and tobacco, a $5-per-room tax on hotels, and an increase on the gross production tax to 5 percent, but House
March 29: House repeals $5 per room tax on hotels and motels.
March 29: Governor Fallin signs three bills into law: one on taxes, one on the teacher pay raise and education funding, and a revenue package to make it all happen.
April 2: Teacher walkout begins. Thousands of teachers, students and families march on the Capitol, talking to lawmakers and protesting inside and outside the Capitol building.
April 3: Governor Mary Falling signs $2.9 billion appropriation bill for common education for the upcoming 2019 fiscal year (House Bill 3705).
April 4: Governor Mary Fallin angers teachers by comparing them to a teenager who wants a better car. Tulsa teachers begin the March for Education, walking from Webster High School to the Capitol. House Bill 1019xx - the Amazon third-party sales tax - passes the House of Representatives.
April 6: Amazon Tax Bill 1019xx and "ball and dice" bill (HB 3375) pass the Senate. Senators also vote to repeal tax on hotels and motels. Teachers demand legislation ending capital gains tax exemption (Senate Bill 1086).
April 9: "Women in Black" group of Tulsa attorneys marches on Capitol to negotiate with lawmakers, teachers and show support. Senators Josh Brecheen and Nathan Dahm call for elimination of tax credit refunds for wind energy as a way to raise money for education.
April 10: March for Education ends as teachers walking from Tulsa to Oklahoma City arrive at Capitol. House votes down bill ending capital gains deduction. Governor Fallin signs new Amazon tax bill and ball and dice bill. She also signs the repeal of the hotel-motel tax that was in the original education funding package.
April 11: OEA adjusts its demands, stating it's at 95 percent of its goal. Bartlesville, Sand Springs and McAlester Public Schools announce classes to resume April 12. Candidacy filing period begins for state House and Senate with record number of filings.
April 12: House again votes down capital gains bill. Oklahoma House, Senate adjourn with no new action on education funding. OEA calls for end of walkout. State workers (OPEA) drop out of Capitol protest.
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.