Middle school teacher confesses to raping student multiple times

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The Oklahoma strike comes amid a wave of action by teachers in states where budgets have been slashed, as measured by per-student spending, over the past decade.

Many Oklahoma school districts have been shuttered since April 2 when thousands of teachers traveled to the state Capitol demanding that lawmakers appropriate more tax dollars for classroom needs.

Public schools serving more than half of the state's 700,000 students were closed on Monday, including those around Tulsa and Oklahoma City. The work-stoppages in Oklahoma and Kentucky were the second phase of rebellion by educators this year, after West Virginia teachers ended a nine-day strike almost a month ago.

In April, lawmakers raised salaries for teachers by an average of $6,100, increased pay for support staff by $1,250, and added $50 million in funding for schools.

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Keri Hoffman, a 35-year-old middle school algebra teacher, told police she'd had sex multiple times with a 15-year-old student - including during the ongoing teacher walkout in the state. Authorities said she surrendered to the Clinton Police Department.

The Senate is set to meet this afternoon and discuss a bill that would remove a tax exemption on capital gains. They are also asking Gov. Mary Fallin to veto a lodging tax repeal bill, which would eliminate $42 million in funding, according to the Oklahoma Education Association, the state's largest union.

A November report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that Oklahoma cut roughly $1,000 per pupil over the last nine years.

Opponents of the Oklahoma tax hikes say lawmakers could bolster education spending by cutting bureaucracy and waste rather than raising taxes.

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