All this week, public school teachers in the state of Oklahoma have been on strike, and students have had some unexpected time off. The reason for the teacher walkout is due to the fact that the teachers want the state to provide additional funding for education programs. The teachers are also seeking an additional pay raise even though the governor has just signed a bill that increased the pay for public school teachers.
Today, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed legislation that will add some money to education spending within the state. Lawmakers passed a bill that will provide an additional $20 million in spending through an internet sales tax. The bill calls for internet sales sites to pay sales tax for purchases make by customers who reside within Oklahoma.
While the bill has passed in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, the bill still has to make it through the Senate and then be signed by the governor. The Senate is expected to act on the bill as soon as Friday.
In the meantime, teachers are still protesting. Schools in both Tulsa and Oklahoma City were closed today, and they are expected to be closed on Friday as well. Some smaller school districts remained open. However, the teachers’ union has arranged that at least one teacher in every school in the state is out on walkout.
In addition to the increase in sales tax for education, there is one other proposal that Oklahoma lawmakers are considering. It is possible that the state might allow an expansion of Native American casinos. Some of the additional revenue raised from licensing fees would be used for state educational purposes.