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Locals head to the Capitol to push for higher teacher pay

Hundreds of teachers, administrators, students and parents are expected to visit the Capitol on Monday, Feb. 12, to lobby for higher teacher pay. (KTUL)

Political Science 101, that's the lesson hundreds of educators will be teaching Monday, Feb. 12, when they converge at the Capitol.

"I'm very much in support of a teacher pay raise," said Representative Eric Proctor.

He is also a former teacher.

"Taught high school economics and high school government," Proctor said.

And it's with the economics of the currently proposed teacher pay hike that he has problems.

"What I personally feel is it matters who you tax and it matters how much you tax them," Proctor said.

He feels the oil and gas industry should be paying substantially more.

"For gross production tax only going to four percent is an insult because you're asking teachers pay five percent, janitors pay five percent, you and I pay five percent on our income taxes," he said.

Even students are heading to the Capitol on Monday in support.

"I just know that for the longest time teachers have not been paid enough in Oklahoma," said Sarah Gehres, a sophomore at Edison High School.

She is eager to give lawmakers an education.

"I talk to people who go to out of state and they just think it's the funniest thing that Oklahoma is like last in education, I'm like, 'No, it kind of sucks,'" Gehres said.

Turning the Capitol into a classroom, with hope for what lawmakers could do and heartache for what might happen if they don't.

"I'm not really sure if I'll see specific changes except for more teachers are leaving and I won't get quite as good of an education as they are, like going to private schools, or they're even going out of state or retiring earlier," Gehres said.

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