OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The Oklahoma City school board voted Monday night to cancel classes on the day of a planned teacher rally and add a day to the end of the current academic year.
The board voted 4-1 to close schools Feb. 12 to allow teachers to attend the gathering designed to encourage support for education funding reform.
Board members said they were philosophically opposed to canceling classes, but that it was the best option when compared with the cost of hiring substitute teachers.
The lost day will be made up May 19.
School districts in Tulsa, Edmond, Muskogee, Broken Arrow and Woodward are among others that will close for the rally.
Reductions in state revenue have forced Oklahoma schools to eliminate more than 2,800 jobs since last year. Some educators have requested a temporary 1-cent increase in the sales tax to help fund schools.
Carolyn Crowder, president of the Oklahoma Education Association, has said teacher jobs are in jeopardy and large public rallies for education have been helpful in the past.