Rep. Rogers Files Teacher Pay Raise Plan
Plan would boost Oklahoma teacher pay to first in the region
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 10, 2017
OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Michael Rogers today filed legislation that would phase in a $6,000 teacher pay raise over three years and boost Oklahoma teachers to the highest paid in the region.
Rogers, the chair of the House Common Education Committee, said a phased-in approach would allow the Legislature to manage the current revenue downturn while keeping its promise to boost pay for teachers.
“It’s important that we develop a realistic plan that can be approved and signed into law,” said Rogers, R-Broken Arrow. “We are again facing a budget gap that is going to limit new expenditures, so we have to find a responsible solution for our teachers while being good stewards of the limited taxpayer dollars we have available.”
House Bill 1114 would include a $1,000 pay raise for teachers during the 2017-18 school year, another $2,000 raise during the 2018-19 school year and a final $3,000 raise during the 2019-20 school year.
Oklahoma already has the third-highest statutory starting minimum teacher pay in the region. Rogers’ plan would give Oklahoma teachers the highest average teacher pay of surrounding states and would raise Oklahoma teacher pay from 48th in the nation to 27th based on recent data from the National Education Association (NEA). When paired with the state’s low cost of living, the plan would move Oklahoma to 13th in the nation for average annual teacher pay at $56,804 (adjusted for cost of living). Oklahoma’s cost of living ranks behind only Mississippi for the lowest in the nation.
House Speaker Charles A. McCall said Rep. Rogers’ plan is reasonable given the current slump in state revenues.
“Our goal is to provide our teachers a pay increase without raising taxes on already overtaxed Oklahomans,” said Speaker McCall, R-Atoka. “Any pay raise plan is going to face challenges when revenues are down, but I believe House Republicans have the political will to get this done in 2017, and I think we can find efficiencies in government spending to pay for it.”
The 2017 legislative session reconvenes on February 6.