Teachers, students and others from across the state have been protesting in the state Capitol and elsewhere for more than a week demanding increased education funding.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol took to social media Monday to thank teachers, saying the educators have made their job at the Capitol very easy throughout the walkout.
Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigators said a Clinton Public Schools teacher has been accused of having sex with one of her students.
An Oklahoma middle school teacher has been arrested for raping one of her students, officials said.
In the past few weeks, lawmakers approved almost $450 million in new taxes and revenue to help fund teachers' pay and education, but that is still short of the $600 million being sought by teachers. Yesterday afternoon, GOP lawmakers said a measure to eliminate the state's capital gains exemption would not be heard this session. They are also asking Gov. Mary Fallin to veto a lodging tax repeal bill, which would eliminate $42 million in funding, according to the Oklahoma Education Association, the state's largest union.
The new taxes and revenue approved by lawmakers translate into an average teacher pay raise of about $6,100. A West Virginia strike last month ended with a pay raise for teachers.
Opponents of the Oklahoma tax hikes say lawmakers could bolster education spending by cutting bureaucracy and waste rather than raising taxes. The minimum salary for a first-year teacher is now $31,600, state data shows.
The Oklahoma strike comes amid a wave of action by teachers in states where budgets have been cut.