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UPDATE 2: West Virginia lawmakers weigh pay deal to end teachers strike


Doug Folks (OEA)


March 5 (Reuters) – Thousands of striking West Virginia teachers flooded the state capitol in Charleston on Monday as lawmakers sought a compromise pay package to end a strike that has closed schools for eight days, while Oklahoma educators also considered a walkout.

The strike, now in its eighth school day, has idled more than 277,000 students as educators pressed for higher salaries in a state where their pay is near the bottom of the scale for U.S. teachers.

West Virginia and Oklahoma ranked 46th and 47th among U.S. states for average pay for teachers in 2016, at $45,783 and $45,317, respectively, according to the National Education Association.

So many teachers and supporters crowded the capitol that the state public safety department and fire marshal barred entry to any more visitors.