>> Out of their classrooms and on the march. Thousands of teachers and their supporters rallied outside the Oklahoma State Capitol on Monday after a walkout to demand higher pay. Schools across the state were forced to shut their doors as the teachers fed up with some of the lowest salaries in the country took to the streets to protest.
They're also demanding more funds for a school system that's reeling from a decade of budget cuts.>> If you look through the stacks, you can just see how many of them have broken areas and cracks.>> And they're not alone. Teachers in other states including Arizona and Kentucky have also taken action, spurred on by the success of teachers in West Virginia whose recent walkout resulted in a 5% pay hike.
Last week, Oklahoma's Republican controlled legislature approved a major tax increase to help fund pay raises, hoping to avert a strike, but their proposals fell far short of teacher demands for a $10,000 pay increase over three years with a $5,000 raised for support personnel. The National Education Association ranked Oklahoma 48 out of 50 states in 2016 for average teacher salary with a secondary school teacher making just over $42,000 according to government statistics.