OEA Says Shutdown Can End Now If 3 Demands Are Met
TULSA, Oklahoma - The Oklahoma Education Association says there is one way to end the school shutdown right now.
It has three demands for lawmakers.
The state's largest teacher’s union is promising to return to the steps of the state capitol at 9:00 Tuesday morning and every day until its demands are met.
The OEA wants lawmakers to restore funding from the hotel-motel tax that was removed from a bill to get it passed.
It's estimated to generate $50 million.
The union also wants the Senate to pass legislation that would allow ball and dice games in Oklahoma casinos.
That would generate an estimated $22 million. And it’s demanding further funding for education.
There's no specific dollar amount on that – only to restore money lost in earlier cuts.
OEA president Alicia Priest says, "the funding that amounts to one text book per student is not the solution to our classroom needs."
Governor Fallin was not at the capitol today, but she spoke only with News on 6 at the Governor's mansion.
The governor says the law she signed is a big step forward and it might be the best lawmakers can do right now.
Governor Fallin says, "I think it’s still possible, but I think the reality of it is the legislators have pushed the envelope pretty far this year."
Lawmakers did meet in various committees today.
There was a move in the House to eliminate a capital gains tax deduction that would have provided $100 million, but it didn't move forward.
Also on the table, allowing property taxes to be used for raises and supplies.
But so far, lawmakers have taken no concrete steps on raising enough cash to end the walkout.