Oklahoma Wants to Cut the School Week Down to 4 Days
Teachers across the country are fighting for better wages, benefits, and in one case - a shorter week. After teachers in West Virginia received a 5% pay increase after staging a 9 day walk out, teachers in other states are contemplating their next move. In Arizona and Kentucky, teachers are protesting for better pensions and pay. In Oklahoma, educators are planning on walking out next month if their needs aren't met. The tentative date for the walk out is April 2nd, since that is the first day for state testing in Oklahoma.
According to CBS news, teachers there want a $10,000 a year raise implemented over a 3 year period to bring them inline with neighboring states like Texas (which pays their teachers about $7,000 more per year). Some districts are looking at more creative ways to address the budget shortfalls at the center of this crisis. If they can not pay them more, they can work them less. These districts are proposing 4 day school weeks. About 210 schools in Oklahoma already use the schedule, and community support in these areas is very high. According to proponents, not only does it effectively raise the pay for teachers by asking them to work fewer hours - it also allows these teachers to spend more time with their families.