Oklahoma Senator David Holt is proposing $10,000 teacher pay raises over the next few years. And Holt says this can be done without raising taxes.
His plan is three pronged. School districts would be consolidated and excess money would go to teacher pay. All revenue growth after fiscal year 2017 would go directly to raises, and the the state would find another $200 million by reforming tax credits.
Holt said legislators have a moral obligation to raise pay, and help solve the teacher shortage.
"To have the future for Oklahoma that we want, we have to have educated citizens, and to have educated citizens, we have to have good teachers, and to have teachers we have to have a competitive salary schedule," he said.
He said $10,000 raises will bring Oklahoma teacher salaries in line with the national average. Under this plan, teachers would get their first $5,000 raise in the 2018-2019 school year.
The president of the University of Oklahoma, David Boren, recently announced a plan to raise sales taxes one cent in order to fund $5,000 pay raises for teachers, and to fund other aspects of education in the state.
Holt doesn't think Oklahomans are in favor of raising taxes, and that's why he's proposing an alternative plan.