OKLAHOMA CITY - A statement just released by the Oklahoma State School Boards Association encourages teachers to return to class.

Here's the statement:

Today, the Senate’s passage of more revenue puts schools in their strongest financial position in more than a decade. The revenue bills approved the last two weeks generate more than half a billion dollars in new funding for schools.

Legislators clearly heard the voices of Oklahoma’s teachers, parents and education advocates who said that continued investment in children, teachers and their schools is critical. The phenomenal advocacy of Oklahoma’s teachers has created momentum to ensure that ongoing investment in education is the new normal and that those who want to represent Oklahomans at the state Capitol must support a long-term funding plan for competitive teacher pay and well-resourced classrooms. From every corner of the state, Oklahomans joined with teachers in demanding better for our children, and I’m grateful.

My hope now is local communities will begin a serious conversation about the need for children to return to class so they can finish the school year strong and ensure all of the dedicated employees in our schools can continue to be paid.

You can follow all our coverage of the teacher walkout in our School Shutdown section.