100 Female Attorneys Give Ultimatum in Oklahoma

They're going to the capital to demand a resolution to teacher strike
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2018 3:21 PM CDT
100 Female Attorneys Give Ultimatum in Oklahoma
A band made up of music teachers and band members from across the state play outside the state Capitol for protestors on the fifth day of protests over school funding, in Oklahoma City, Friday, April 6, 2018.   (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

As lawmakers in Oklahoma scramble to find a solution to the state's teacher strike, a female adoption lawyer has fired off a gone-viral warning to them: "I, along with 100 female attorneys, will be coming to see you Monday," writes Becki Murphy in a Facebook post. She says the group is offering to help lawmakers come up with a solution but makes clear there will be repercussions without one. "And you will do it, or you have my word.... one of the 100 women by my side will file for your seat.... and we will do it for you." By Friday afternoon, the post had been shared nearly 10,000 times and liked even more often. "We will be the women in black," the post ends. "You will see us coming."

  • Why the letter? Murphy tells the Tulsa World that she became angry after hearing language from lawmakers about teachers she thought sounded derogatory. Plus, she has two kids who attend public schools. "I just had it," she tells the newspaper. "I asked myself, 'Can we get a bunch of women out there and see if we can fill this gap?'"

  • More money: The Oklahoma Senate on Friday passed two measures Friday to beef up education funding, reports KFOR. One imposes a sales tax on third-party internet retailers (it's nicknamed the "Amazon bill") and the other allows casinos to have ball and dice games. Each is expected to add about $20 million to the state's education money. Gov. Mary Fallin hasn't said whether she will sign them, per NewsOK. Lawmakers were working on other tax measures, though it wasn't clear whether they will be enough to appease educators.
  • The numbers: Previously passed tax increases would mean teacher raises of about $6,000, plus a $50 million boost in education funding. Not good enough, say teachers, who want a raise of $10,000 over three years and $200 million in funding, reports Education Week.
  • Into week 2: While many teachers in rural areas have returned to work, the state's largest districts—Edmond, Norman, Oklahoma City, and Tulsa—already are planning to remain closed on Monday as the walkout enters its second week, reports the AP.
  • Threats to lawmakers: The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is working on three separate cases involving threats made to lawmakers during the teacher strike and may soon open a fourth, reports NewsOK. The agency did not release details about the threats.
  • Salaries by state: The Washington Post collects a number of charts showing what teachers make in different states. Oklahoma teachers generally rank near the bottom.
(More Oklahoma stories.)

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