Oklahoma Republican Gov. Mary Fallin drew national outrage when she accused striking teachers of being like "teenagers" who "want a better car." Now the governor is doubling down on the statement.
"Teachers want more. But it's kind of like a teenager wanting a better car," Fallin said this week.
In an interview with KFOR, Fallin was asked about the statement and retold the encounter with the CBS News reporter who asked her about the teachers' demands.
"Well the question was asked of me by a national reporter, 'if you give the teachers the largest pay raise ever and more funding to education ever, and you've already done that, but they struck anyway. Why are they still striking?'" Fallin recalled being asked. "And I said, because they want more money, and he said, how much more money do they want? So we were having a conversation about how much more should we give above the $6,100 pay increase and $50 million more for education, and I said, sometimes it's like a teenager always wanting a better car. You give them one thing, but they want something better.”
She tried to blow off the comments as a valid analogy and noted the teachers still want more money than they were promised.
"So it was just a comparison that there are teachers who want more money for the classroom," Fallin said. "There is a definite need for that, but we have taken a large step forward as a state and passed an historic increase in education funding."
Fallin was faced by angry teachers at the Oklahoma Capitol Wednesday. The crowd shook their keys at her and chanted "where's my car."
The governor claimed that they have given teachers the largest pay raise in history and agreed to millions in funding for books and other supplies. The money comes after ten years of significant cuts to education. The additional funding promised to educators and schools doesn't recoup the cuts.
[caption id="attachment_1250100" align="aligncenter" width="615"] (Oklahoma education funding cuts via QZ)[/caption]
The increases also don't take into account an increase in students flooding schools.
[caption id="attachment_1248609" align="aligncenter" width="507"] (Chart via the Oklahoma Policy Institute)[/caption]
You can see Fallin's interview below as well as the teachers shaking their keys at her:
Oh my gawd. We followed @govmaryfallin up the stairs so we shared it with the crowd and they took out their keys 🔑… https://t.co/k5ixCD8c4M— Dawn Brockman (@Dawn Brockman)1522882581.0