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Suddenly, cost-cutting states turn friendly to teachers

March 23, 2019

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Cost-cutting states are trying to keep schools happy as teacher unrest over low pay and overcrowded classrooms continues into a second year.

Pressure from voters is forcing states to put more money on the table as much as picket lines. In Texas, Republican lawmakers have proposed $5,000 teacher raises and $9 billion in additional classroom funding.

The proposals follow the GOP’s worst election in a generation in Texas. New Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt is also pushing ahead with an additional $1,200 pay increase for classroom teachers, a year after several Republican opponents of a pay package were ousted in primaries.

A nationwide teacher revolt began with walkouts in West Virginia in 2018. In Kentucky this month, recurring “sickouts” for teacher protests forced schools to cancel classes.