OEA Releases Demands To End Walkout`

<p>For the first-time the OEA has released exact demands to end Oklahoma's teacher walkout.&nbsp;</p>

Friday, April 6th 2018, 9:51 pm

For the first-time the OEA has released exact demands to end Oklahoma's teacher walkout.

This comes after the legislature passed what could be two key funding sources earlier Friday.

Both the “Amazon Tax/Online Third-Party Sales Tax” bill and the “Ball and Dice” bill cleared the senate. However, OEA President Alicia Priest said that's not enough.

Priest is calling on the Governor Mary Fallin to take action after the senate repealed the hotel-motel tax.

"So if the Governor vetoes hotel-motel and we pass capital gains, those votes have the power to end this walkout," said Priest. 

Lawmakers said they've already accomplished history.

About two weeks ago they passed a $2.9 billion education budget, which boasts a $450 million dollar teacher pay raise.

"They wanted the Amazon tax. They wanted ball and diice, what did you see on the floor? You saw Amazon and ball and dice. I am not sure what their next set of demands will be," said Senate Majority Floor Leader (R) Great Treat.

However, Senator Treat said none of the money involving ball and dice will be slated for education this year, and the estimated $20 million a year coming from the Amazon Tax won't be in addition to education, rather it will simply cushion existing funds.

The OEA said they'll march on Monday, through the week, so that other agencies don't experience a shortfall when money is moved around.

"We need funding for education and we need to fund out core services. We're not going to be pit against one another," said Priest.

Still, next week is up in the air as the bills head to Governor Fallin's desk. She will have five legislative days to sign or stop the bills.

"We don't expect the Governor to veto any of the measures that we passed today," said President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz. 

Next week Oklahoma reaches another critical deadline. The state could lose federal funding if students aren't back in the classroom for scheduled exams. Schulz said State Superindentant Joy Hofmeister is preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best.

Hofemeister’s office said the passage of today’s two bills increases long-term and dedicated funding to provide greater financial stability for education.


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