Oklahoma teacher walkout moves into second day

Oklahoma teacher walkout moves into second day
© Sky News

Oklahoma public school teachers on Tuesday continued their strike into a second day, demanding pay raises and more funding for schools.

Many schools in the state remained closed, including the state’s three largest districts, as thousands of teachers continued their walkout, according to CBS News.

On Monday, an estimated 36,000 people gathered at the Oklahoma state capital in support of the walkout. The teachers, many of whom have not seen a pay raise in a decade, are demanding a $10,000 pay increase over three years and $5,000 for support personnel.

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The state’s GOP-controlled legislature last week passed a revenue package that included a pay raise for educators, but teachers are saying that the increase was not enough. Oklahoma teachers are paid, on average, less than teachers in nearly every other state, at $42,460 a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"We must be responsible not to neglect other areas of need in the state such as corrections and health and human services as we continue to consider additional education funding measures," said GOP Gov. Mary Fallin (R), according to CBS News.

Teachers in Kentucky are also leading a statewide rally in opposition to a GOP-backed pension reform bill.

The demonstrations come shortly after a nine-day strike in West Virginia, where teachers secured a 5 percent pay raise, and protests in Arizona last week, where teachers wore red and gathered at the state capital to demand a much larger 20 percent pay increase.