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‘Teachers are acting like teen kids’: Oklahoma Republicans are melting down over teacher protests

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Oklahoma teachers have spent the past two days at the state Capitol demanding not only better pay for them but more funding for schools that goes directly into the classroom.

Republican lawmakers in the state have been caught trying to pull a switcheroo on laws they passed to raise pay and taxes. Legislators have also taken to local news and the House and Senate floors to trash teachers and blame funding problems on anyone but themselves.

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Over the week, the legislature passed and the governor signed a measure that would increase teacher pay by $6,000 annually. Teachers denounced the measure because while the pay increase might be nice for them, it didn’t address the larger concern about adequately funding schools and money in classrooms for children. Immediately after Gov. Mary Fallin (R-OK) signed the law in a public ceremony, lawmakers began repealing pieces of it.

Fallin then said that she hoped teachers would come to the Capitol to say “thank you,” according to one Journal Record reporter. When they didn’t, Fallin told Omar Villafranca at CBS evening news that the educators were “acting like teenage kid that wants a better car.” She then tried to claim the teachers were Antifa protesters.

Republican lawmakers then spoke with local news outlets to denounce schools and the teachers.

In an interview with KWTV News 9, state Rep. Bobby Cleveland told teachers to get back to the classroom when the walkout began.

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State Rep. Kevin McDugle told KJRH reporter Travis Guillory, “I’m not voting for another stinking measure when they’re acting the way they’re acting.”

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Two different teachers reported hearing state Sen. Wayne Shaw of Grove, Oklahoma trash the schools in his own district. “Its not like Westville is the brass ring of Oklahoma schools,” he reportedly said.

Westville resident Vickie Hanvey railed against Shaw’s statements saying the only “brass rings” in Westville schools are the teachers, counselors and principals.

One solution state Sen. Marty Quinn of Claremore said had was for teachers to simply take a different job if they don’t like their low pay. It’s unclear how he thinks schools would continue without anyone working there. He also told student Ariel Grimes that she was “too young” to understand the school funding crisis. She told KOCO News that she was then told to leave. Quinn later told reporters that he would have used different words but blamed Grimes, saying she took his words out of context. She noted that the local bank in Claremore pays for copy paper because the schools are too poor.

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Rep. Dale Derby confessed to Fox23 that he told Owasso teachers in his district that the problem was “that Democrats owned this state for 100 years. Republicans have been in charge for 10 years and we’ve gradually picked it up.”

According to the Oklahoma Policy Institute, school funding dropped significantly 10 years ago when the GOP took over the state legislature. Fallin was then elected in 2010 and the GOP took over all state-wide offices. Students in the schools have gradually increased.

(Chart via the Oklahoma Policy Institute)

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When that excuse wasn’t found to be accurate, Derby then blamed the schools themselves. “Oh, your local school districts squandered the money,” he told Fox 23.

He then claimed that they didn’t have the money. Indeed, there is “not enough money in all of Oklahoma to fix education,” Derby told teachers.

State Rep. Josh Cockcroft, of Tecumseh kept cutting off the microphone of House minority leader Scott Inman when he would speak out in support of the teachers, one educator reported.

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In a 2016 poll, 65 percent of Oklahomans said that the state spends too little on students. Indeed, the state ranks 47th out of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., according to Census Bureau data. When it comes to teacher pay, Oklahoma ranks 49th in the nation when it comes to teacher pay, making $13,705 less than the national average. Teachers have reserved space in the Capitol through at least April 13.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Foreign diplomats preparing for the worst — another Trump win in 2020: ‘People don’t want to be stupid twice’

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According to a report from Politico, foreign diplomats are not so sure Donald Trump will be beaten in the 2020 election and are making contingency plans for how they will deal with him should he be re-elected.

The report notes that the win by the New York businessman in 2016 caught foreign governments by surprise with former French ambassador to the United States, Gerard Araud admitting, "In 2016, nobody believed he was going to be elected. People don’t want to be stupid twice.”

According to Politico, "There’s no known scientific survey on the topic — few foreign officials would participate in one given diplomatic norms that preclude them from commenting on another country's internal politics. But none who talked to POLITICO were willing to say that Trump will lose. Instead, they pointed to three key advantages for Trump: He’s the incumbent, the U.S. economy is strong and the Democrats have no definitive front-runner to challenge him."

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Trump Twitter-rages at ‘evil propaganda machine’ New York Times

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President Donald Trump kicked off his Sunday morning by going on a multi-tweet rant about the New York Times where he blamed them for his poor poll numbers and called them "an evil propaganda machine.'

Trump began with, "The Failing New York Times, in one of the most devastating portrayals of bad journalism in history, got caught by a leaker that they are shifting from their Phony Russian Collusion Narrative (the Mueller Report & his testimony were a total disaster), to a Racism Witch Hunt....., " before adding, "'Journalism' has reached a new low in the history of our Country. It is nothing more than an evil propaganda machine for the Democrat Party. The reporting is so false, biased and evil that it has now become a very sick joke...But the public is aware! #CROOKEDJOURNALISM."

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Trump suggests hitting France with 100 percent tariff on wine over dispute with Macron

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According to a report from Bloomberg, President Donald Trump publicly suggested that he would consider a 100 percent tariff on wines coming from France.

The report states that the president recently made the suggestion as part of his trade war that has crippled American manufacturers and farmers while at the same time hitting American consumers' wallets.

Trump's comments came during a recent Long Island fundraiser and were tied to his unhappiness with President Emmanuel Macron and his tax on multinational technology companies.

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