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OKLAHOMA CITY – Education officials say the state is making progress when it comes to teacher pay.

Last year, then-Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill that raised teachers’ salaries by an average of $6,100. It also gave $1,250 raises to support staff.

One year later, Gov. Kevin Stitt encouraged lawmakers to come up with a way to fund a $1,200 pay raise for educators during his State of the State address. If that happens, Stitt says Oklahoma teachers would be in the top spot for the region regarding pay and benefits.

As a result of that call, House Speaker Charles McCall authored House Bill 1780, which would provide a $1,200 across the board pay raise for public school teachers. If the bill comes to fruition, it would cost the state $70 million each year.

It still needs to be approved by the Oklahoma State Senate.

Now, the Oklahoma State School Boards Association says the latest findings are showing that the state is making progress when it comes to teacher pay.

Officials say Oklahoma’s average teacher salary is estimated to be about $52,400, compared to $46,300 it was a year ago.

Oklahoma’s average teacher salary is now third in the region behind Texas and Colorado.

According to the National Education Association, Oklahoma was ranked 34th nationally in teacher pay. It is a drastic increase from last year’s 49th ranking.

The NEA bases its report on gross salary for classroom teachers before deductions for Social Security, retirement and health insurance.