Education advocates say Oklahoma budget still doesn't solve teacher pay problem

TULSA, Okla. — Quick facts:

  • Oklahoma's budget bill is heading to the governor's desk.
  • It did not include any teacher pay raise proposals.
  • Some education advocates voiced dissatisfaction.

As a $6.8 billion budget bill heads to the governor’s desk, some are expressing concern that it does not offer any proposals for Oklahoma teacher pay raises.

The Sooner State ranks nearly last in teacher pay among other states in the U.S.

The Oklahoma Department of Education gained one percent in the budget bill, but education advocates say Oklahoma will keep bleeding teachers to neighboring states.

Shawna Mott-Wright with the Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association says the inability to raise teacher pay is only part of the problem.

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She worries people may become complacent and think the current conditions are acceptable.

The final budget bill brought cuts to 51 state agencies.

The Department of Education is only one of 16 who came out ahead.

Mott-Wright says the one percent addition will do little to fill the hole the state government has been digging for years.

Though Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Deborah Gist said the new budget will allow them to take furloughs off the table, other cut proposals remain.

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