Why Republicans are giving huge pay rises to teachers

They do so, despite many worrying about critical race theory and indoctrination

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - APRIL 04: Teachers, school workers, students, and supporters rallied for the third straight day of an education walkout at the Oklahoma Capitol building on April 4, 2018 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Teachers are demanding higher wages and school funding. (Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images)

In april 2018, teachers in Oklahoma staged an insurrection. Angry at dismal pay, they walked out of their classrooms for nine days and converged on the state capitol to demand more money. This was part of a wave of teachers’ strikes that year in Republican-dominated states, including Arizona, Kentucky and West Virginia.

Five years later, things are different. The Oklahoma legislature, which has a Republican supermajority, passed an average salary increase of $6,100 in the days before the strike; then a smaller increase of $1,200 the next year. It is currently debating a further increase of $3,000-6,000, depending on seniority. From the sitting room of the governor’s mansion, Kevin Stitt, the recently re-elected Republican governor, is upbeat about the pending pay-increase legislation and dreams of paying the best teachers in the state “up to $100,000” by the end of the year.

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