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Oklahoma Teachers Rally at State Capitol (Mar 15, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Hundreds of Oklahoma teachers are filing into the state Capitol to ask lawmakers to provide more funding for local classrooms and better support for educators.

About 500 teachers visited the Capitol Tuesday for a rally to show support for public education. Incoming Oklahoma Education Association President Linda Hampton says teachers are concerned that the number of students in the state is increasing while the number of teachers is dropping.

State lawmakers are considering bills that would change teacher pension systems and do away with an appeals process for fired teachers called trial de novo. Lawmakers have also warned that a budget shortfall of $500 million next year could reduce classroom spending.

Hampton says lawmakers are trying to correct the budget shortfall on the backs of the state's teachers.

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