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Oklahoma Teachers End Walkout

 

Oklahoma’s largest teachers union on Thursday called off a nearly two-week walkout that shut public schools statewide, saying it had secured historic gains in education funding after-school budgets were devastated by a decade of cuts.

The move came after the Republican-dominated legislature passed its first major tax hikes in a quarter century that raised about $450 million in revenue for education. Republican leaders said they had no plans to go as high as the $600 million being sought by educators.

Oklahoma Education Association President Alicia Priest said Thursday it is time for teachers to shift their focus to electing pro-education candidates to the Legislature. The current Republican leaders say they would not provide any more new revenue for public schools. The Republican-controlled Legislature passed a series of tax hikes to fund a $6,100 average teacher pay raise and more funding for schools, but teachers walked out anyway.