Oklahoma Senate panel OKs teacher pay bill; funds uncertain

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Legislation calling for a $6,000 raise for Oklahoma public school teachers over three years has been approved by a state Senate committee, although lawmakers have not identified a way to pay for it.

The Senate Committee on Appropriations voted 39-3 Wednesday for the House-passed bill.

The measure calls for a $1,000 teacher pay raise next year, $2,000 the following year and $3,000 in the third year. A $1,000 raise would cost about $53 million a year.

The bill's Senate author, Republican Sen. Jason Smalley, says there's strong support for raising teacher salaries this year and that work is underway to find a funding source.

Oklahoma's average teacher salary of $44,921 is last in a seven-state region that includes Oklahoma and hasn't been raised since 2008.

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House Bill 1114: http://bit.ly/2lfTxD6

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