Oklahoma teacher walkout stretches into 5th day with lawmakers set to take up tax issues

Teachers in Guymon, Okla., took to the streets earlier this week in their call for more funding for education. Today lawmakers are set to take up taxing issues that some say won't be enough, leading to another week of walkouts. (Abby Aldrich, KVII)

A teachers strike in Oklahoma is stretching into a fifth day, and a state union leader says he doesn't think pending revenue bills are enough to stop the walkout from extending into next week.

The Senate is expected to consider separate proposals Friday to expand tribal gambling and tax certain internet sales that are expected to generate roughly $40 million annually.

The Oklahoma Education Association's executive director, David Duvall, says he doesn't think those are enough to keep teachers from walking out again next week.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation last week granting teachers pay raises of about $6,100 as well as tens of millions of new dollars for public schools. But many educators said classrooms need more money and walked out of school to protest at the Capitol.

At the Oklahoma Capitol, senators today will consider special session and regular session measures.

The Senate will meet in special session at 8:30 a.m. today to consider HB 1019xx, the marketplace fairness act or so-called “Amazon bill,” as well as HB 1012xx, a bill that repeals the “hotel/motel” tax that was originally included the $530 million revenue package (HB 1010xx) passed by the Legislature last week that completely funds the largest teacher pay raise in state history.

The Amazon bill is estimated to generate approximately $20 million and when added to growth revenue in the state budget more than makes up for the hotel/motel tax.

The Senate also will meet in regular session this morning to consider HB 3375, the so-called “ball and dice” bill.

Check back with ABC 7 Amarillo for updates on the Oklahoma situation as the first week of walkouts heads into the weekend.

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