Oklahoma superintendent vows to fight for $5,000 teacher raises


OWASSO, Okla. – Oklahoma State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister says the issue of teachers’ salaries should have been addressed by the Legislature, rather than a ballot issue that seeks a tax increase to fund the pay bump.

But speaking Wednesday in Owasso, Hofmeister said she’ll keep fighting for a $5,000 across-the-board pay raise, saying that Oklahoma’s teacher shortage is fueled by “low, uncompetitive” salaries.

This November, voters will consider a 1 percent sales tax increase that will fund higher education and $5,000 pay increases for teachers. According to the Tulsa World, Hofmeister said Wednesday that the ballot measure isn’t ideal but “it’s long overdue.”

Hofmeister also said that nearly one-third of Oklahoma’s 515 school districts have voted to switch to four-day school weeks as a cost-savings measure.