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HPPR Health, Education & Welfare

Oklahoma Teachers Send A Message To GOP Lawmakers

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Oklahoma has, in recent years, gained national attention as a center for earthquakes. But a different kind of seismic shift hit the Sooner State this week—one of the political variety.

As The Tulsa World reports, this spring when Oklahoma’s teachers went on strike, they were dismissed and mocked by many of the state’s Republican officials. This, despite the fact that Oklahoma’s per-student spending has decreased by almost 25% in the past 10 years.

In response, Oklahoma’s teachers made their voices heard through the ballot box. During Tuesday’s runoff elections, six more Republican lawmakers who opposed teacher raises were defeated at the polls.

That means, of the 19 Republicans who voted against raising taxes to increase teacher pay this spring, only four will be on the ballot this November. This amount of turnover is unprecedented for any recent decade in the state of Oklahoma.