Oklahoma Senate approves measures to avert teachers’ strike
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The Oklahoma Senate on Wednesday passed legislation to increase various taxes to help fund raises for teachers and avert a statewide strike. 

NBC News in Tulsa reported that the Senate approved a package to raise taxes on cigarettes, fuel, lodging and oil and gas production. The body approved the bill by a 36-10 vote.

The Oklahoma House already passed the plan, which is expected to produce roughly $450 million to fund teacher raises. The bill next heads to the governor for consideration.

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Public school teachers had been planning a statewide strike in response to stagnating wages. Oklahoma teachers are reportedly among the lowest-paid in the nation.

Calls for a teachers' strike in Oklahoma started amid a walkout by West Virginia public school teachers. That strike kept public schools closed across the state for nine consecutive school days.

The strike, which came in response to low wages amid skyrocketing health insurance costs, ended earlier this month when the West Virginia state legislature approved a 5 percent pay raise for teachers.