Bill to protect pay for school staff passes Oklahoma Senate

Oklahoma Politics

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – While many Oklahoma schools are back to in-person learning, an Oklahoma senator is working to make sure school staff are protected if class is canceled because of a pandemic.

In the midst of virtual learning, pay for teachers and administrators was protected and guaranteed under state law.

However, that is not the case for school support staff.

Sen. Chris Kidd authored Senate Bill 807 to ensure pay for school staffers is also protected.

“The historic nature of the pandemic has presented several problems and issues that have never had to be dealt with, and the pay of school support staff was one of them. Currently, there is a provision in law allowing teachers paid time if a school closes during an epidemic or health emergency, but unfortunately it doesn’t include districts’ hardworking support staff,” Kidd said. “This bill will statutorily ensure that the pay of support staff in our schools is protected just as it is for other school staff.”

SB 807 directs that school support employees be entitled to pay for any time lost when a school district is closed because of an epidemic or when a closing order is issued by an authorized health officer.

Kidd says that Gov. Stitt passed an executive order, requesting public schools to continue paying all employees through the school year. However, the order was not renewed when it expired.

“These individuals play a vital role in our schools—overseeing meals, answering phones, managing the office, cleaning the buildings, maintaining the grounds and many other important daily tasks that keep our schools up and running,” Kidd said. “Just as they look out for the best interest of our children and schools, we must look out for them and get this bill signed into law.”

SB 807 passed the Oklahoma Senate and will next be heard in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

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