Oklahoma teacher walkout enters seventh day

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Classes remain canceled in Oklahoma's biggest school districts Tuesday as teachers walk out for a seventh day.

Photo: AFT / Twitter

Leaders of Oklahoma's largest teacher's union have demanded a repeal of a capital gains tax exemption and for the governor to veto a repeal of a proposed lodging tax as they push for more education funding in massive demonstrations at the state Capitol.

Republican Gov. Mary Fallin approved teacher pay raises of about $6,100, but many educators say their classrooms need more money.

Oklahoma teachers have joined a revolt that started in West Virginia and has spread to other Republican-led states including Kentucky and Arizona.

Testing period extended

Oklahoma State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister on Monday extended the time period for students to take standardized tests in hopes of preventing the loss of federal money.

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.

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.

What teachers say they want

Leaders of Oklahoma's largest teacher's union said protests would continue 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

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