Oklahoma superintendent seeks $221 million boost for schools

OKLAHOMA CITY – Despite a nearly $870 million shortfall in next year’s Oklahoma state budget, state school Superintendent Joy Hofmeister says public schools need an additional $221 million in the upcoming fiscal year.

Hofmeister delivered a budget presentation Wednesday to Oklahoma House members ahead of the legislative session that begins next month. Oklahoma’s public schools received about $1.87 billion in legislative appropriations last year.

Hofmeister separately proposed a package to give teachers a $3,000 annual pay raise and add four additional instructional days to the school year. That plan would cost an additional $282 million.

Gov. Mary Fallin and Republican leaders in the House and Senate have emphasized the need to raise pay for state teachers, but funding the increase will be difficult without raising taxes.