OPIOID SERIES:

Oklahoma teachers extend walkout to second week

Oklahoma teachers extend walkout to second week
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Oklahoma teachers are extending their strike into a second week.

The president of the Oklahoma Teachers Association said the walkouts will continue into next week as teachers demand more funding for schools, CNN reported.

Teachers from across the state shut down their schools and marched in the state's capital last week.

On Friday, more than 55 of the state's school districts were closed due to the walkouts.

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Teachers are urging lawmakers to pass new legislation, arguing that schools in the state need more funding.
"I think they thought we were not going to come out in the forces that we did, especially throughout the week ... but we're holding strong, and you don't mess with teachers when we're trying to fight for our kids," Amanda Girdler, a fourth-grade teacher, told CNN.
 
The Oklahoma state Senate approved last week a series of tax increases to help fund the state's education system in an attempt to put an end to the strike.
 
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 precent over the past decade, according to Reuters.

Oklahoma lawmakers passed a tax increase earlier this month 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.