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“We want this funding back for them,” Oklahoma teacher concerned about education funding

TULSA, Okla. – Teachers from across the state say they are fed up with programs and resources being cut.

Blake Martin, a fifth grade teacher at Moore Elementary School, says lawmakers aren’t thinking about the needs of students for the long-term.

On Thursday, Gov. Mary Fallin signed HB 1010XX, which calls for a $447 million tax increase to fund teacher pay raises.

The plan offers an average $6,000 pay increase for all teachers, but it starts at $5,000 for first-year teachers and is expected to gradually increase over time.

However, the revenue plan only provides about $50 million for the general fund, which would go toward education funding.

“We want this funding back for them. That’s why we’re full steam ahead with our walkout. The teachers got their raise which is amazing but this has always been about the kids, it hasn’t been about us,” Martin told KJRH.

Martin said that students are taking notice of the lack of funding.

“They’re starting to notice it when they come in and their desk is broken and I’m just like “sorry, be careful, don’t push that leg so it doesn’t fall. They’re noticing that things are getting cut, services are getting cut,” she said.

Thousands of educators headed to the Capitol on Monday to pressure lawmakers to fully fund education.