Even the threat of a statewide walkout has its effects.

Politico reports:

 

OKLAHOMA LAWMAKERS SCRAMBLE TO STOP TEACHERS’ STRIKE: A plan to hike teacher pay moving through the state Legislature won’t stop a statewide teacher walkout planned for Monday, the Oklahoma Education Association told Morning Education. State senators are expected to consider a package today passed by the House that would boost teachers’ pay by $6,000 on average, with smaller raises for school support staff and state employees. The bipartisan deal represents “a great step in the right direction,” said association President Alicia Priest, but it is not sufficient to keep teachers in the classroom on Monday.

– “Because the hole is so deep, and because our employees and the students that we serve have been neglected for so long, we have to see the process to the finish line,” Priest said. “We will be walking out on Monday.” She added that after a decade of steep school funding cuts, the union is asking for pay raises and funding boosts that would span two or three years.

– The union said it rejected the plan for teacher raises because it falls short of teachers’ $10,000 ask, and because teachers in districts that pay higher salaries would get only a portion of the raise. Priest added that the bill doesn’t include the raises the union pitched for school support professionals, cafeteria staff and others. And it doesn’t include substantial boosts for district budgets. More details from NewsOK.

– The legislative proposal received a warmer welcome from the Oklahoma City American Federation of Teachers, which represents roughly 2,600 public school teachers in that city. “We’ve always said we want an adequate and substantial pay raise. This is in that ballpark,” union President Ed Allen told Morning Education. He added that his union would poll members today on whether to continue with the planned walkout. “Everybody wants more money, but this is substantial. I think our membership is going to say, ‘This is a good deal. Let’s take it, and keep working to get more.'”

– So far, 156 of the 512 districts in Oklahoma have agreed to close schools in support of the walkout. Another 17 are still considering resolutions to close schools, while one has rejected the walkout, according to a tracker run by the Oklahoma Education Association, an affiliate of the National Education Association. The districts that will close Mondayenroll about 70 percent of students in the state, according to the union’s tally.

– It remains unclear whether the walkout will continue beyond Monday. If so, it would run into standardized testing windows set by the state for students in elementary school through high school. An administration of the ACT test for juniors is planned for Tuesday.

– Further west, in Arizona, teachers plan to gather today at the state Capitol to announce their demands of the governor and state lawmakers. According to the Arizona Republic, there is no immediate plan to strike. More here.