- Associated Press - Sunday, March 30, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Democratic leaders in the Oklahoma Senate plan to pitch their tent on the Capitol lawn overnight to welcome rallying teachers.

Senate Democratic Leader Sean Burrage of Claremore and Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Tom Ivester of Sayre plan to camp out on the lawn Sunday night to welcome thousands of teachers who plan to rally at the Capitol Monday.

As many as 25,000 educators are expected at the Capitol to rally for education funding. The Oklahoma Education Coalition says appropriations to public schools are about $200 million less than in 2009 even though there are about 40,000 more public school students than there were five years ago.

In addition, the National Education Association says the starting salary for an Oklahoma teacher is $31,606 a year when the national average is $36,141.

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