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Oklahoma school teachers reeling after question fails

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

By SEAN MURPHY
Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Public school teachers across Oklahoma expressed shock and disappointment on Wednesday after the resounding defeat of a state question that would have imposed a 1 percent statewide sales tax to fund public education, including a $5,000 teacher pay hike.

Meanwhile, public school supporters sought to allay those concerns by pointing to key victories in state House and Senate races and assuring teachers that the push for a pay raise will resume in earnest during the legislative session that begins next year.

For months, polling showed strong support of around 60 percent for State Question 779, but that support began to fade in the waning days as opponents launched a fierce campaign against it. Ads questioned how much of the tax revenue would be spent on things other than teacher pay.

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