Okla. Senate to consider tax hike for education funding to end teacher strike

Okla. Senate to consider tax hike for education funding to end teacher strike
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The Oklahoma state Senate on Friday will consider a series of tax increases to help fund the state's education system and put an end to a teachers' strike that has lasted a week.

Among the tax increases included in the package being considered is a $20 million internet sales tax, according to Reuters. The state House approved that measure on Wednesday.

It also includes a hotel tax increase expected to bring in an additional $50 million and a gambling tax that could generate an additional $22 million.

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Oklahoma public school teachers are among the lowest paid in the U.S., and the state's education system has seen inflation-adjusted general funding per student drop by about 28 percent over the past decade, according to Reuters.

A teachers' strike in West Virginia last month that led to a 5 percent pay raise for teachers encouraged educators in Oklahoma and Kentucky to take similar action.

Oklahoma lawmakers passed a tax increase earlier this week that would have raised teachers' salaries by an average of $6,000. 

But the strike continued, with educators calling for a $10,000 pay increase over three years.