Teachers' group seeks to stop Oklahoma anti-tax question

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A group representing Oklahoma teachers is asking the state's highest court to stop an effort to overturn a tax-hike package to fund teacher pay raises the Legislature approved amid a national uprising of educators seeking more classroom money.

The Professional Oklahoma Educators filed a protest petition with the state Supreme Court last week against the anti-tax group's signature-gathering effort.

Oklahoma Taxpayers Unite is seeking a public vote on whether to toss tax hikes on cigarettes, motor fuel and energy production to fund an average teacher pay raise of $6,100.

Professional Oklahoma Educators argues in court paperwork that repealing the tax hikes would undo teachers' raises, which are necessary "for the immediate preservation of the public peace."

Teacher walkouts started in West Virginia and spread to Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona and Colorado.

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