Massive Oklahoma teacher protests enter 2nd week

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma's education department is extending the time period for students to take standardized tests as the state's teacher walkout enters its second week.

Teachers march on the Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City on Monday, April 9, 2018. (Photo Credit: KWTV/KOTV)

The Oklahoma State Department of Education announced Monday that the testing window will be extended by one week for grades 3 through 8 general assessments and grade 11 science assessments.

The testing period began April 2, but tens of thousands of students have been out of class since then because of the teacher walkout that began the same day.

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister says she hopes the extension will prevent any penalties or loss of funding from the federal government, which mandates that 95 percent of students take the tests.

Oklahoma lawmakers are slated to return to the state Capitol amid a second week of massive teacher demonstrations for more classroom money.

Leaders of Oklahoma's largest teacher's union said protests would continue Monday unless lawmakers approve a repeal of a capital gains tax exemption and the governor vetoes a repeal of a proposed lodging tax.

The $5-per-night lodging tax would generate about $50 million annually. It's faced opposition from chambers of commerce and the hospitality industry. Axing the capital gains tax deduction would generate about $120 million annually.

The Senate Friday sent Gov. Mary Fallin two bills projected to generate $40 million more annually for education by expanding tribal gambling and taxing certain internet sales. Teachers said that wasn't enough.

Fallin already approved raising teacher pay by about $6,100.

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