Striking Oklahoma Teachers Share Their Demands

The comments also expressed frustration after she signed a a bill that gave teachers and support staff in the state a salary increase of between 15 and 18 percent

Even if the teachers' demands are met, Priest emphasized that these were only the terms for ending the strike, and that she still wants additional funding for education. Many say they are exhausted but energized by the support they have received.

The state House and Senate will convene on Friday to take up revenue-raising measures.

The strike that started on Monday has affected more than half a million students.

Brown declined to elaborate but did say investigators don't believe the threats are being made by teachers.

That was not enough for the teachers, who are seeking $10,000 over three years.

Brown declined to identify the lawmakers but says the threats were both written and verbal and related to the teacher walkout. "Because of the educators, parents and students who have taken to the Capitol this past week, the new funding for Oklahoma's students almost doubled".

Oklahoma's Public Safety Commissioner Rusty Rhoades says troopers have identified a handful of "outside protest groups" that have attempted to infiltrate the rally.

Oklahoma lawmakers typically don't meet on Fridays during legislative sessions.

Senate Floor Leader Greg Treat said the legislation will be "substantive".

The job action comes after a West Virginia strike last month ended with a pay raise and as teachers in other states grow increasingly angry over stagnating wages are consider walk-outs.

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Last week, lawmakers approved the state's first major tax increase in a quarter century, a $400 million revenue package that would have raised teacher pay by an average of about $6,000. But many educators said classrooms also need more money.

"We're very close", teachers' union president Alicia Priest told The Oklahoman newspaper.

The Senate sent an internet sales tax measure that would bring in an estimated $20 million to the desk of Republican Governor Mary Fallin and a gambling measure that could bring in about $24 million. Lawmakers traditionally don't meet on Fridays during legislative sessions.

The conservative state's teachers have followed in the footsteps of similar teacher revolts in West Virginia, Kentucky and Arizona -all Republican-dominated states.

"We just want to make sure that they are going to fix the problem and not dismantle it the minute we leave", said Lindsay Burkhalter, a fourth-grade teacher in Ponca City, about 105 miles (170 km) north of Oklahoma City.

Some say teachers in Oklahoma risk losing public support the longer their walkout goes.

Teachers are confident their communities support the protest movement, and vowed to continue the rest of this week.

Oklahoma Republicans passed a tax hike for hundreds of millions of new dollars for public schools and teacher pay raises.

Many teachers already are back at work, especially in rural communities where local boards didn't vote to shut down.

More than 55 of the state's 500-plus school districts - including those in Oklahoma City and Tulsa - were closed Friday because of the walkout, CNN affiliate KOCO reported.

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