Governor Mary Fallin stressed the need for teacher pay raises in her State of the State address on Monday, and has allocated $60 million toward $1,000 teacher salary bumps in her proposed budget.
But still, legislative leaders like Senate President Pro Tem Mike Schulz were hesitant to guarantee it would get done this year.
“Oh I think it’s going to be one of the main areas of discussion,” Schulz said, “And I think we will leave this session in May with a framework in place to put a teacher plan on the table moving forward.”
But Schulz said the revenue probably won’t be available for it this year.
“We’ll end this session with a framework in place and we’ll implement that over time,” he reiterated, “And the key to that is how many of those revenue streams are going to start putting money in to the general revenue fund. A lot of things we’re going to do might not have impacts until the ’19 or ’20 budget year.”
Fallin also told lawmakers that she wants to see some legislation on school choice. She made a similar request to lawmakers last year, specifically asking for bills that allow for Education Savings Accounts, but none of the measures made it to her desk.
Schulz said, as of now, school choice legislation is not a priority of the legislature.