Education board OKs budget request for teacher pay
SEAN MURPHY, ASSOCIATED PRESS
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma teachers would receive a $2,500 across-the-board pay raise under a budget proposal approved Thursday by the State Board of Education, but they shouldn’t plan to spend the money any time soon.
The money for the raises is part of a $2.78 billion funding request the agency is submitting for the Legislature to consider for the budget year that begins July 1. The request includes nearly $300 million in new spending.
“It is time we as a state offer better compensation to these dedicated and talented individuals who give so much of themselves in service to our children,” said state Superintendent Janet Barresi.
Gov. Mary Fallin and leaders in the GOP-led Legislature have signaled support for pay raises for Oklahoma teachers, among the lowest paid in the nation with a starting salary of $31,600. But the reality of Oklahoma’s budget situation will make it difficult. Although state revenue collections are trending upward, legislative budget writers used about $290 million in one-time revenue sources to fund the current year’s budget, which will eat into any growth revenue next year.