Oklahoma teachers may see pay raise

Feb 21, 2017

State Rep. Michael Rogers, R-Broken Arrow
Credit NewsOK.com

The Oklahoma Legislature may soon give public school teachers a raise, reports The Oklahoman.

The proposed law lays out a three-year plan, under which Sooner teachers would receive an increase of $1,000 in the first year. When the three-year term is over, teachers in the state will have seen a total pay increase of $6,000 per year.

Despite Oklahoma’s $900 million budget shortfall, state Rep. Michael Rogers says he thinks lawmakers will at least find a way to pay for the $1,000 first-year portion of the raise, which will cost about $50 million.

Democratic Rep. Jason Dunnington was skeptical that the state would find the money. In the past, Oklahoma has proposed teacher pay raises but then voted them down, blaming the state economy.

“Do you think that it's possible that putting out a measure that says there's going to be a teacher pay raise, even though there's not a funding source, is not just another yo-yo for [Republicans]?” Dunnington said.