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Morning Bell: One week left

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Good Monday morning. Most schools return from spring break today. But another break could be around the corner as an April 2 teachers strike seems likely. 

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said she believes the strike will happen, if for no other reason than the challenge it will be for lawmakers to pass a historic tax increase over the next few days. 

However, Hofmeister said she believe a teacher walkout will result in positive change for Oklahoma public schools. 

"There will be a change, that I'm certain," Hofmeister told The Oklahoman. "This will result in improvement. This will result in competitive pay for teachers and a competitive public education (system)."

You can read more about my interview with Hofmesiter here

Paying for the funding demands

The Oklahoma Education Association, which has demanded lawmakers fund more than $800 million in new education and state funding, offered its own proposal for how to pay for it last week. 

The proposal would restore the earned income tax credit, cap itemized deductions except charitable contributions, eliminate the capital gains deduction, increasing the tax on cigarettes, raise the gross production tax on oil and gas, and add a room tax on hotel and motel stays, among other tax increases. You can read about the entire proposal here

The Oklahoman's Dale Denwalt took a look at how the OEA's proposal compares with the recent Step Up budget plan

A crowd moves south on Lincoln Blvd. toward the state Capitol during a "March for Our Lives" rally in support of gun control in Oklahoma City, Saturday, March 24, 2018. (Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman via AP)
A crowd moves south on Lincoln Blvd. toward the state Capitol during a "March for Our Lives" rally in support of gun control in Oklahoma City, Saturday, March 24, 2018. (Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman via AP)

March for Our Lives

"This is what democracy looks like!" was the chant Saturday reverberating down Lincoln Boulevard and at the state Capitol by a throng demanding gun reform.

The Oklahoma City march in conjunction with the national March For Your Life demonstration began just before noon and included thousands of participants ranging from toddlers to seniors. The march and ensuing rally was organized by and for youth who say they have seen enough of gun violence in their lifetimes, especially in learning institutions.

UCO plans annual Black Male Summit

The University of Central Oklahoma's Office of Diversity and Inclusion will host the fourth annual Black Male Summit on Wednesday in the Nigh University Center. About 500 students from across the state are projected to attend this year's event.

In higher education news...

The University of Oklahoma plans to announce its new president today. The OU Daily reports that new president is expected to be former business executive James Gallogly.

Oklahoma City University has named Martha Burger as its next president and the first female to lead the 114-year-old university.

That's all for today's Morning Bell. Have a great Monday. 

Related Photos
A crowd moves south on Lincoln Blvd. toward the state Capitol during a "March for Our Lives" rally in support of gun control in Oklahoma City, Saturday, March 24, 2018. (Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman via AP)

A crowd moves south on Lincoln Blvd. toward the state Capitol during a "March for Our Lives" rally in support of gun control in Oklahoma City, Saturday, March 24, 2018. (Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman via AP)

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-0b570c185fed42780623ca2b96cfc6d6.jpg" alt="Photo - A crowd moves south on Lincoln Blvd. toward the state Capitol during a &quot;March for Our Lives&quot; rally in support of gun control in Oklahoma City, Saturday, March 24, 2018. (Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman via AP)" title="A crowd moves south on Lincoln Blvd. toward the state Capitol during a &quot;March for Our Lives&quot; rally in support of gun control in Oklahoma City, Saturday, March 24, 2018. (Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman via AP)"><figcaption>A crowd moves south on Lincoln Blvd. toward the state Capitol during a &quot;March for Our Lives&quot; rally in support of gun control in Oklahoma City, Saturday, March 24, 2018. (Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman via AP)</figcaption></figure>
Ben Felder

Ben Felder is an investigative reporter for The Oklahoman. A native of Kansas City, Ben has lived in Oklahoma City since 2010 and covered politics, education and local government for the Oklahoma Gazette before joining The Oklahoman in 2016.... Read more ›

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