OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma House has overwhelmingly passed legislation that calls for a $6,000 raise for public school teachers over three years, although lawmakers have not figured out how to pay for it.
The House voted 92-7 for House Bill 1114 on Tuesday and sent it to the Senate.
The bill by Republican Rep. Michael Rogers of Broken Arrow calls for a $1,000 raise next year, $2,000 the following year and $3,000 in the third year.
Rogers says there’s strong support for raising teacher salaries this year.
“As a state we have to make a commitment to pay our teachers better,” said Rogers. “This bill is the first step toward making Oklahoma one of the most competitive states in our region for teacher pay. We know there are ways to pay for this raise, and House Republicans are committed to funding this plan this session.”
“Given our state’s current budget conditions, this plan seemed the most responsible in both rewarding the hard-working teachers throughout our state and continuing to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars,” said Rep. Mike Osburn.
However, some say the bill does not currently include a funding source and would cost the state about $53 million a year.
Rogers says they are working to find a funding source.
Oklahoma’s average teacher salary of $44,921 is last in a seven-state region that includes Oklahoma and hasn’t been raised since 2008.