Oklahoma teachers plan to walk out in what could be huge rallies

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Oklahoma teachers are walking off the job Monday and holding rallies at the state capitol to pressure lawmakers.

Teachers plan to rally in Oklahoma City on Monday morning. The dispute has resulted in the closure of several school districts across the state, including Oklahoma City Public Schools, its largest district.

It's unclear how long the walkout may last.

"We will be back in the schools when our members tell us to," Alicia Priest, president of the Oklahoma Education Association, told CNN.

Teachers say they've reached a breaking point over funding and salaries.

Last week, legislators approved a measure that includes a $6,100 pay raise for teachers. Priest said the pay raise is a "good starting point."

The OEA had called for $10,000 pay raises for teachers over the next three years and $5,000 pay raises for full-time support professionals such as custodians, secretaries, bus drivers and food service workers. Oklahoma is among the bottom three states for teacher salaries.

"This isn't just about teacher salaries," David DuVall, executive director of OEA, told CNN. "This is about funding our schools for our students,"

Priest told CNN that educators are working in classrooms without full sets of textbooks and that some of the books are more than 20 years old, affecting the quality of education for students.

Although House Bill 1010XX, which was signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin last week, provides education funding, she said that the $50 million in the bill "will buy less than one textbook per student in Oklahoma."

"We've been cut over 28% in the last 10 years in education funding, and our schools just can't maintain all of the supplies, instructional materials, textbooks, even copy paper. Copies are limited in schools to maybe 30 a week," she said.

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