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):
A group of Oklahoma students have joined their teachers on the third day of a statewide walkout by teachers seeking more funding for their classrooms.
Students rallied in front of the State Capitol Wednesday to support their striking teachers. Student speakers described tattered textbooks, malfunctioning computers and broken classroom furnishings and urged lawmakers to increase spending on their education.
Grace Fox, a junior at Edmond Memorial, says she speaks for many other students who crave knowledge but are shackled by the constraints of low education funding.
Ravi Patel, a senior at Southmoore High School, says public education in Oklahoma is as bad or worse than education in developing nations.
The National Education Association says Oklahoma ranks 47th among states and District of Columbia in public school revenue per student
Arizona educators and others are showing support for a push to increase classroom funding and teacher pay with "walk-in" protests outside Phoenix-area schools.
A long line of mostly red-clad teachers, students and supporters walked along a sidewalk leading to Hamilton High School in Chandler before classes began Wednesday. Similar protests were held in Phoenix, Mesa and Gilbert.
Last week, thousands of Arizona teachers protested in the state Capitol, seeking a 20 percent pay boost. Republican Gov. Doug Ducey has said he is sticking to a 1 percent increase.
The Arizona demonstrations continue as schools in Oklahoma are closed for a third day amid ongoing teacher protests at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City.
Teachers in Oklahoma and Arizona are among the lowest paid in the nation.
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.
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.