Oklahoma teachers go on strike and rally at state Capitol

Teachers carried signs and marched during a rally at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City on Monday calling for higher wages. Last week, the legislature in Oklahoma City voted to give teachers an average raise of $6,000 per year, or roughly 16 percent, depending on experience. Gov. Mary Fallin, a Republican, signed the package into law, but teachers said it was not enough. They have asked for a $10,000 raise as well as additional funding for schools and raises for support staff like bus drivers and custodians.

Oklahoma ranks 47th among states and the District of Columbia in public school revenue per student, nearly $3,000 below the national average, while its average teacher salary of $45,276 ranked 49th before the latest raise, according to the most recent statistics from the National Education Association.

Many Oklahoma schools, including those in the three largest districts — Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Edmond — were closed Monday to honor the teachers’ strike and walkout. Some schools are offering free meals to students ages 18 or younger, while various churches, faith organizations, and charitable agencies are providing free daycare services. Spring break was last week in many Oklahoma districts.(AP)

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<p>Dennis Gentry holds a protest sign pointedly not thanking Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, who said teachers should come to the Capitol to thank her for a recent raise, during a rally on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images) </p>
Oklahoma teachers go on strike and rally at state Capitol

Dennis Gentry holds a protest sign pointedly not thanking Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, who said teachers should come to the Capitol to thank her for a recent raise, during a rally on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images)

<p>Teacher Emily Mercer of Moore, Okla., holds a protest sign at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images) </p>
Oklahoma teachers go on strike and rally at state Capitol

Teacher Emily Mercer of Moore, Okla., holds a protest sign at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images)

<p>Kent Scott, a teacher from Tecumseh, Okla., holds a protest sign at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images) </p>
Oklahoma teachers go on strike and rally at state Capitol

Kent Scott, a teacher from Tecumseh, Okla., holds a protest sign at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images)

<p>Oklahoma state employees joined the picket line at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images) </p>
Oklahoma teachers go on strike and rally at state Capitol

Oklahoma state employees joined the picket line at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images)

<p>Teachers march to a protest rally at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images) </p>
Oklahoma teachers go on strike and rally at state Capitol

Teachers march to a protest rally at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images)

<p>Teachers rally at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images) </p>
Oklahoma teachers go on strike and rally at state Capitol

Teachers rally at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images)

<p>A teacher holds a protest sign at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images) </p>
Oklahoma teachers go on strike and rally at state Capitol

A teacher holds a protest sign at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images)

<p>A teacher holds a protest sign at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images) </p>
Oklahoma teachers go on strike and rally at state Capitol

A teacher holds a protest sign at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images)

<p>A teacher who marched in the 1990 strike pickets at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images) </p>
Oklahoma teachers go on strike and rally at state Capitol

A teacher who marched in the 1990 strike pickets at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images)

<p>An Oklahoma teacher walks the picket line at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images) </p>
Oklahoma teachers go on strike and rally at state Capitol

An Oklahoma teacher walks the picket line at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images)

<p>Ella Roach holds a protest sign in support of her teacher, Kimberly Cox, during a rally at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images) </p>
Oklahoma teachers go on strike and rally at state Capitol

Ella Roach holds a protest sign in support of her teacher, Kimberly Cox, during a rally at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images)

<p>Teachers rally at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images) </p>
Oklahoma teachers go on strike and rally at state Capitol

Teachers rally at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images)

<p>Conner McElveen, an Oklahoma City teacher, holds a protest sign about the lack of taxation on the oil industry during a rally at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images) </p>
Oklahoma teachers go on strike and rally at state Capitol

Conner McElveen, an Oklahoma City teacher, holds a protest sign about the lack of taxation on the oil industry during a rally at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images)

<p>Oklahoma teachers rally at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images) </p>
Oklahoma teachers go on strike and rally at state Capitol

Oklahoma teachers rally at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images)

<p>Oklahoma teachers rally at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images) </p>
Oklahoma teachers go on strike and rally at state Capitol

Oklahoma teachers rally at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images)

<p>Oklahoma teachers rally at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images) </p>
Oklahoma teachers go on strike and rally at state Capitol

Oklahoma teachers rally at the state Capitol on April 2, 2018, in Oklahoma City. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images)

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