Oklahoma lawmakers planning rare Friday sessions

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma lawmakers will convene rare Friday sessions as protesting school teachers continue to fill the state Capitol and demand more funding for public education.

Republican leaders of the state House and Senate said Thursday they will meet Friday to consider legislation to raise more money. Lawmakers traditionally don't meet on Fridays during legislative sessions.

Two bills passed Wednesday night by the state House are being called a win by teachers because that could mean more money for education.

Those bills would raise money from taxes on online shopping and gambling in the state, netting more than $40 million for education.

That revenue though it is still a far cry from the demands of teachers. That demand is in the hundreds of millions of dollars

Oklahoma teachers are in the fourth day of a walkout over low pay and classroom spending. The movement started with teachers striking in West Virginia and winning a 5-percent pay raise. It has continued in the conservative-led states of Kentucky and Arizona.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation last week that granted 15 to 18 percent salary increases for Oklahoma teachers, but teachers say more funding is needed for classroom needs.

The National Education Association says Oklahoma ranks 47th among states and the District of Columbia in public school revenue per student.

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