Update (6:07 p.m.): Claremore Public Schools will be closed Monday. School officials there will make decisions on a daily basis.


Update (4:58 p.m.): Tulsa Public Schools board of education will meet at 5 p.m. Monday at the Education Service Center, 3027 S. New Haven Ave., to consider what to do about the ongoing teacher walkout.

The agenda posted Friday shows that the board could vote to reconsider its authorization of Superintendent Deborah Gist to shut down schools.

"This is an unprecedented situation for all of us," said TPS spokeswoman Emma Garrett Nelson. "There is no guidebook for a teacher walk-out, and we are continuing to take it day by day. As the walk-out extends into a second week, the board felt that it was appropriate to create an opportunity to come together and check-in."


Update (3 p.m.): Owasso Public Schools will be closed Monday.


Update (2:45 p.m.): The leader of the Oklahoma Education Association on Friday said teachers have two more demands to end their walkout.

OEA President Alicia Priest told reporters that the teachers union wants Gov. Mary Fallin to veto a repeal of an approved hotel/motel tax and for lawmakers to vote to remove a capital gains exemption that it says will bring in an estimated $100 million.

Priest spoke shortly after the state Senate voted 42-3 to repeal a $5 hotel/motel fee that was included in a broader revenue-raising package that was approved to fund teacher pay raises and increased education funding.

Senators on Friday also approved bills dealing with internet sales tax collection and an expansion of tribal gaming to include ball and dice games.


Update (2:30 p.m.): The state Senate has voted 42-3 to repeal a $5 hotel/motel fee that was included in a broader revenue-raising package that was approved to fund teacher pay raises and increased education funding.


Update (2:25 p.m.): Broken Arrow Public Schools will be closed Monday.


Update (2 p.m.): Union Public Schools will be closed Monday.


Update (1:40 p.m.): House Bill 3375, known as the "ball and dice" bill," passed in the Oklahoma Senate on Friday with 29 aye votes.

HB3375 would expand state-tribal gaming in Oklahoma by offering compact supplements related to non-house-banked "ball and dice" table games such as roulette and craps, which were specifically prohibited since a 2004 vote of the people.

Exclusivity fees generated by this change are estimated to total $24 million in the first year, but in debate it was noted that revenue would not be available for education until fiscal year 2020. About $21 million would go toward education, or 88 percent of the expected revenue.

The bill's Senate presenter, state Sen. Greg McCortney, acknowledged that when it comes to the tribal gaming compacts, they might not represent the "best deal" that Oklahoma could have gotten, but today wasn't the day to revisit that part of the issue.

Majority Floor Leader Sen. Greg Treat debated against the ball and dice bill, saying "I'm very dissatisfied with the way the executive branch have negotiated gaming compacts with the tribes .. I feel the state has been shorted."

Amendments had been proposed by state Sen. Nathan Dahm, who argued that other states including Florida and New York collect a much higher percentage from tribal gaming compacts. He encouraged McCortney to table the bill so that research could determine how much more money could be generated if Oklahoma replicated the formulas in those states. Those amendments, which would likely have delayed the measure, went unheard on Friday as McCortney replied to Dahm, "Today's a great day to vote on this revenue increase for education."

Because the bill passed with no amendments after succeeding in a House vote, it is on its way to Gov. Mary Fallin's desk.


Update (1:15 p.m. Friday): The statewide teacher walkout will continue Monday, as Oklahoma Education Association leaders say movement in the Legislature on Friday will be insufficient for the needs of education.

"We don't expect the Senate to pass enough today," OEA spokesman Doug Folks told the Tulsa World on Friday afternoon.

Tulsa Public Schools already announced its sites would close Monday, April 9.


Update (11:45 a.m. Friday): House Bill 1019xx passed by a vote of 42-2 in the Oklahoma Senate late Friday morning.

House Bill 1019xx, a special session bill that would require Amazon and similar internet platforms to collect state sales tax on items sold through them by third-party vendors.

Essentially, the measure gives internet retailers the option of collecting the taxes or supplying the Oklahoma Tax Commission with names, addresses, and amounts so that it can bill purchasers. It would collect $20.5 million for education, according to estimates.

Unclear is how much authority the state has to enforce such a law.

Proposed amendments to the bill were heard Friday morning but failed by large margins.

Sen. Josh Brecheen, R-Coalgate, proposed an amendment that would have gutted the bill and replaced it with language to cap tax incentives to the wind industry. Breecheen called the incentives a “corporate welfare payment” that lawmakers have obligated the state to for 10 years.

Senate Majority Floor Leader Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, said he thought the incentives were “a huge waste of taxpayer money in the long run” but that he could not support Brecheen’s proposed amendment.

“Your amendment, with all due respect, guts the bill. It’s not a choice between $20 million and $70 million, it’s a choice between $20 million and zero,” Treat said.

Sen. Ron Sharp, R-Shawnee, said ending wind incentives has no chance of passage in House, so the Brecheen amendment would essentially kill the state’s opportunity to bring in $20 million in new revenue for public schools.

Brecheen’s amendment failed by a 36-8 vote.

Breecheen and Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, cast the only votes against final passage of the internet sales tax bill.

Demonstrators in the Capitol rotunda sent up a chant of “Thank you! Thank you!” after the Senate’s passage of the bill.

After the bill passed, the Senate adjourned special session and planned to gavel back into regular session to hear legislation proposed separately.


The Oklahoma Senate broadcasts live from the chamber floor. Go to oksenate.gov to watch. NOTE: The stream may not work for most viewers as many report technical difficulties.


Follow tulsaworld.com for updates and read all the coverage at tulsaworld.com/teacherwalkout.

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