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Oklahoma Lawmakers Will Consider More School Funding - KOAM TV 7

Oklahoma Lawmakers Will Consider More School Funding

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    Oklahoma GOP leaders say lawmakers will take up money-raising bills Friday -- a rarity for Oklahoma lawmakers who typically don't go to the Capitol on the final day of the workweek. But a top teachers union leader said Thursday that he did not believe the measures under consideration would be enough to prevent a teacher walkout from stretching into next week.
    Oklahoma Education Association Executive Director David Duvall said Thursday that union officials still are crunching numbers on the proposals to expand tribal gaming and tax certain Internet sales that would generate about $40 million dollars annually.
    Duvall said that union members will decide when to end the walkout that has shuttered some of the state's largest school districts all week, but that he expects teachers to return to the Capitol next week.
    The Senate is expected to take up the two measures on Friday and send them to the Republican Governor Mary Fallin for her signature.
    Fallin has faced the brunt of criticism from teachers, many of whom blame the term-limited governor for supporting tax cuts and generous state subsidies for businesses that have led to declines in state funding for schools and other state services. The governor further raised the ire of teachers after an interview this week in which she likened striking teachers to a "teenage kid that wants a better car."
    The governor signed legislation last week granting teachers pay raises of about $6,100, or 15 to 18 percent, as well as tens of millions of new dollars for public schools. But many educators said classrooms need more money, joining a movement of teachers that has ignited protests in other Republican-led states including West Virginia, Kentucky and Arizona.
    
 

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