Okla. teacher rally to focus on education funding

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Thousands of teachers from across Oklahoma will converge on the state Capitol to deliver a single message to state lawmakers: appropriate more taxpayer dollars to public education.

Teachers, educators and school administrators plan want legislators to restore funding for public education to at least levels it had reached prior to the Great Recession, when massive revenue shortfalls forced spending cuts to education and other public services.

Educators say state support of public education and teacher salaries is among the lowest in the nation. The Oklahoma Education Coalition says appropriations to public schools are about $200 million less than in 2009 although there are about 40,000 more public school students than there were five years ago. About 678,000 students are enrolled in Oklahoma's public schools.

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