"There is a disturbing common message: more and more people. are saying, 'I don't know if I can AFFORD to do the world's most important work", Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association, said in a statement. "We're basically equivalent to excrement". Join us in a conversation about world events, the newsgathering process or whatever aspect of the news universe you find interesting or important. "Nothing. You don't matter.' But we matter, and our kids matter".
The bill, passed mostly on party lines, has gone to Gov. Matt Bevin - who supports reforming the pension system. It also does not cut benefits for current teachers. "These kids deserve the opportunity of a great education but we can not give them that if all our teachers are emergency certified or completely overworked".
Teachers filled the halls of the capitol with shouts of "Vote them out!" and "Enough is enough!"
Others said the state must do more to fund rural schools that serve low-income students. In Louisville, the absences forced the closure of Kentucky's largest school district.
Oklahoma City Schools have already cancelled classes for Tuesday.
Although many public schools had shuttered on Monday, some in Oklahoma are offering free meals to students aged 18 or younger while various churches, faith organizations and charitable agencies are providing free day-care services.
The educators came to Frankfort from cities across the state. "Copies are limited in schools to maybe 30 a week".
Teachers by the thousands also demonstrated in the Kentucky state capital Frankfort.
"I am disgusted with the cuts, and deeper and deeper cuts", said Betty Gerber, a retired teacher from Broken Arrow, Okla. "If it'd been a regular school day, it'd have been 10 times this".
Priest said the $50 million increase approved by the state last week "will buy less than one textbook per student in Oklahoma". "They've given tax breaks to big corporations, defunded public schools, and said, 'What could go wrong?'" "But we were promised a full pension and full health care".
"And instead of finding logical sources for funding, they just want to cut and take away".
The protests weren't aimed only at last week's pension overhaul. "It's about funding public education and really restoring the kind of support that all kids need in order to learn", Oklahoma state schools chief Joy Hofmeister told TV station KWTV. "I taught school in Texas nine years ago before coming to Oklahoma and I see how the schools are left out of funding".
With the budget vote looming, a crowd of protesters gathered around a side entrance to the Capitol and chanted "Shame!"
Thousands of teachers and education supporters are marching in Oklahoma City, and schools all over the state are closed ahead of a rally at the state Capitol for more education funding. Teachers in Arizona held another rally in late March. She notes these laws aren't necessarily the cause of an increase in funding, but bluer states that have them typically spend more on education anyway.