OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – A measure that aims to increase teacher salaries in Oklahoma has passed the state Senate.
“For far too long, Oklahoma has lagged behind the rest of the nation in education outcomes, which is doing a disservice to our children and state overall,” Sen. Adam Pugh, (R-Edmond) said in January. “I was tasked by Pro Tem Greg Treat this interim to come up with a plan that meets our children’s needs today, empowers parents, while ensuring we are rewarding teachers and getting better outcomes for the future of our state. This plan is aggressive, and if implemented will get us on the right path to a better, more prosperous future.”
Earlier this year, Sen. Pugh outlined his plan for education reform in Oklahoma. That plan included several legislative measures, including Senate Bill 482.
SB 482 laid out a new minimum pay structure for Oklahoma teachers based on their credentials and how many years of experience they have.
Currently, a new teacher with no experience and a bachelor’s degree will make a minimum salary of $36,601. Under SB 482, that pay would start at $39,601.
The pay increase wouldn’t just cover first-year teachers.
Currently, a teacher with a doctorate degree and 25 years of experience will make a minimum salary of $54,395. The measure would increase that pay to $60,395.
On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Senate almost unanimously passed the bill, 42-1.
“As Oklahomans, and especially as lawmakers, we need to do whatever it takes to ensure our children are getting the best education possible,” Pugh said in January.