OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A teacher pay raise bill is passed out of the House budget committee, but an amendment changes the author’s original intent.
Senate Bill 482 was passed in the Senate weeks ago.
It would have increased the minimum pay schedule for first-time teachers by $3,000 and adds up to $6,000 based on years of experience.
“The Senate’s pay plan on average is $5,300 per teacher,” said Sen. Adam Pugh, R-Edmond.
Pugh authored the bill with Representative Mark McBride, R-Moore.
Education reform is currently in a stalemate between House and Senate leadership, and a teacher pay raise structure modeled after Pugh’s bill is part of the Senate’s plan.
McBride said he supports the bill, but because the idea is being negotiated in meetings between both chambers, amendments will be allowed.
“Senator Pugh’s bill, I’m not against at all but it’s part of the Senate plan so I didn’t see any sense in wasting a good piece of legislation,” said McBride.
The amendment that was voted on in the House Appropriations and Budget Committee was from Representative Dick Lowe, R-Amber.
It strips the language providing teacher pay raises, but it adds ten years to the state’s minimum.
Right now the a minimum teacher salary is only included up to 25 years. This new amendment would add a minimum up to 35 years.
“Just as a confirmation this is no longer a teacher pay raise bill,” asked Rep. Trish Ranson, D-Stillwater, in the committee meeting.
“Yes ma’am you are correct,” responded Lowe.
The amendment passed with full support from the committee, but it failed to address the teacher pay raise many lawmakers and educators are wanting.
House and Senate leadership will pick members to be on a conference committee dealing with the education proposals.
Looking at how debate over education is shaping out, McBride said teacher pay raises would have been better running alone.
“Personally, I think if it would have been separated out and dealt with individually it might have been a better way to move forward,” said McBride.