First teachers in West Virginia did it. Now educators in Oklahoma and Kentucky are walking out on their jobs and rallying at their respective state capitols, reports CNN. The issue, as it was in West Virginia, is money, though the particulars vary. In Kentucky, teachers are marching over the state budget and a surprise pension bill that lawmakers unexpectedly shoehorned into a sewage bill last week. In Oklahoma, the issue revolves around teacher salaries—an Oklahoma Education Association rep says teachers are looking for a $10,000 pay hike over three years—and funding for education overall. Thousands of teachers rallied in the streets of Frankfort, Ky., Monday morning, reports the AP, and educators in Oklahoma were staging a similar march, per NewsOK.
"What happened in West Virginia is inspiring for sure," a spokesperson for the Kentucky Education Association tells ABC, referencing the 5% pay raise teachers in the Mountain State effected via their walkout. Monday's protest comes just days after Arizona teachers held their own demonstration in Phoenix, demanding a 20% pay raise, per USA Today. A KFOR article underscores the plight of some teachers in Oklahoma, where some say they're forced to work multiple jobs in addition to their teaching gigs to make ends meet. One teacher, Jonathan Moy, says he not only teaches high school algebra, but also coaches football and wrestling, drives a school bus, umps Little League, and gets behind the wheel for Uber and Lyft. "It's kind of sad that he has to do that many jobs," one of his students says. "He should be able to concentrate just on teaching." (Read more teachers' strike stories.)