teachers

"I thought this just happened to me."

That's the refrain from dozens of teachers who reached out to NPR — via email and social media — in response to our investigative story about serious problems with a federal grant program that, they say, have left them unfairly saddled with thousands of dollars of debts they shouldn't have to pay.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

We're crazy in love with all the education news — from Coachella to new findings on screen time.

Beyoncé brings HBCU pride to Coachella performance

Teachers have staged protests in recent weeks in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Colorado and Arizona. Some are fighting lawmakers who want to scale back their pensions.

It's no secret that many states have badly underfunded their teacher pension plans for decades and now find themselves drowning in debt. But this pensions fight is also complicated by one little-known fact:

Teachers in Arizona held a strike vote on Thursday that launched Arizona's first-ever statewide walkout and turned down a proposed pay raise — instead demanding increased school funding.

The Arizona Education Association and the grass-roots group the Arizona Educators United announced that teachers will walk off the job April 26.

Teachers' union leaders in Oklahoma have ended a nine-day, statewide strike after winning salary raises but seeing a lack of legislative action otherwise.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the teacher walkout to call for more funding for education enters week two at the State Capitol, candidate filing for the 2018 elections begins with record breaking numbers and Attorney General Mike Hunter releases an audit showing cleanup at the Tar Creek Superfund site might have cost the state millions of dollars.

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

After nine days of rallying at the state capitol, union leaders say the Oklahoma teacher walkout is over.

The president of the Oklahoma Education Association, Alicia Priest, said on Thursday that despite thousands of people calling on lawmakers to increase school funding, educators have seen no significant legislative movement since last Friday.

She said the union polled its members, and a majority doubted that continuing the walkout would result in more money for schools.

Updated at 10:20 p.m. ET

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has given in to demands for pay raises for teachers, who have been conducting a month of protests at the state Capitol and at schools. He has proposed to boost teacher salaries 20 percent by 2020.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Updated 5:09 p.m.

The state's largest teachers union have announced the Oklahoma teacher walkout is over.

In a press conference this afternoon, Oklahoma Education Association president Alicia Priest said some schools and teachers may continue to walk, but that is up to them and their school boards.

Priest declared the walkout a victory, saying teachers had secured an additional half a billion dollars for public education, but Senate leaders refused to do more this year, and that was the reason for calling things off.

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