Oklahoma teachers, supporters continue second week of walkout

NE 36th St. in the final leg of a 110 mile trip from Tulsa to the state Capitol as protests continue over school funding in Oklahoma City

Sue Ogrocki AP

Lawmakers in the Republican-controlled legislature said it may be hard to find more money after approving almost $450 million in new taxes and other revenues since the walkout began on April 2 to help fund pay raises for teachers and boost spending.

Officials said Hoffman took a group of students, including the victim, to the Capitol to participate in the teacher walkout.

Nguyen pets Milo a therapy dog who is a staple in her music classroom in Norman Okla. as protests continue over school funding
Sue Ogrocki AP

Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigators said a Clinton Public Schools teacher has been accused of having sex with one of her students. The work-stoppages in Oklahoma and Kentucky were the second phase of rebellion by educators this year, after West Virginia teachers ended a nine-day strike almost a month ago.

In the past few weeks, lawmakers approved almost $450 million in new taxes and revenue to help fund teachers' pay and education, but that is still short of the $600 million being sought by teachers.

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Lawmakers also had blocked a union request to approve a bill to remove a capital gains tax exemption that educators said could bring an extra $100 million to state coffers. If the bill is enacted, the union has said it would be a major step toward ending the strike.

The walkout comes after the West Virginia teachers' strike catalyzed a movement of teachers demanding higher pay.

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In April, lawmakers raised salaries for teachers by an average of $6,100, increased pay for support staff by $1,250, and added $50 million in funding for schools.

Opponents of the tax rises say lawmakers could bolster education spending by cutting bureaucracy and waste rather than raising taxes.

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Vice President Pence also hosted the Northern Triangle Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America as well. He described the raid as "an attack on our country in a true sense ... an attack on what we all stand for".

Teachers want a $10,000 raise over three years. The minimum salary for a first-year teacher is now $31,600, state data shows.

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