The Latest: Oklahoma educators march for student funding

The Latest: Oklahoma educators march for student funding
Keagan Nedrow, left, and Reed Nedrow, bottom right, stand with their mother, Tara Nedrow, right, who teaches history at Union High School, and other teachers, during a teacher rally against low school funding at the state Capitol Oklahoma City, Monday, April 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Latest on teachers rallying for higher pay and education funding in several Republican-led states across the U.S. (all times local):

10 a.m.

Some Oklahoma educators and their supporters have begun a 110-mile march to urge state lawmakers to increase funding for classrooms.

More than 100 people set out from Webster High School in Tulsa on Wednesday on the first leg of a seven-day trek to the state Capitol in Oklahoma City.

Marchers plan to hike about six hours to Kellyville High School about 18 miles (30 kilometers) away.

Many Oklahoma schools are closed for the third straight day as teachers push for better pay and education funding.

Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation last week granting teachers 15 to 18 percent salary increases.

The National Education Association says Oklahoma ranks 47th among states and the District of Columbia in public school revenue per student and Oklahoma’s average teacher salaries ranked 49th before the raises.


12 a.m.

A teacher walkout in Oklahoma is entering its third day in a red state rebellion stretching from West Virginia to Arizona that is putting Republicans on the spot over public education.

Many legislators are forced to choose between placating constituents angry over years of education cuts and conservative supporters who want smaller government and low taxes.

In Oklahoma, most Republicans broke with party orthodoxy and endorsed hundreds of millions of dollars in tax increases to fund public schools. Instead of getting praised, thousands of teachers still thronged the state Capitol, demanding more money, while anti-tax conservatives vowed to challenge incumbents who supported the plan.

Teachers rallying for better pay in West Virginia started the movement, which has since spread to capitols in Arizona, Kentucky and Oklahoma.