Oklahoma teachers to close down schools, demand pay raises: report
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Oklahoma teachers are reportedly planning to walk out and shut down schools across the state over pay raises and funding.

The Oklahoma Education Association, the state's largest union for educators, said the teachers are walking out "because our students deserve more," Reuters reported.

The teachers are asking for pay raises and more funding for schools.


Last week, the state's Republican-controlled legislature passed a revenue package that included pay raises for teachers.

But teachers — who are demanding a $10,000 pay increase over three years and $5,000 for support personnel — said the pay raise passed isn't enough.

Oklahoma teachers have an average salary of $42,460, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, placing them at 48th in average U.S. classroom teacher salary.

Lindsay Burkhalter, a Ponca City Public Schools elementary teacher, told Reuters that no one "gets into teaching for the money."

"But it's like, at what point do I leave Oklahoma and just drive the 30 minutes into Kansas," she said.

Teachers in the state began discussing a walkout as West Virginia teachers held a days-long strike last month over low wages.

Schools in West Virginia were closed for nine consecutive school days during the strike until the state legislature passed a 5 percent pay raise for teachers.