teacher pay

About exactly a year ago we brought you the story of Shawn Sheehan, Oklahoma's 2016 Teacher of the Year.

At the time, he and about 40 other educators were running for office in the state, wanting to make a change because, as Sheehan puts it, lawmakers weren't prioritizing education. Funding for schools in the state has been cut tremendously over the past decade and teachers in Oklahoma are some of the lowest paid in the country.

Emily Wendler / KOSU

Residents of Oklahoma City will soon be asked if they support raising their own income tax, in order to increase funding for city schools.

Oklahoma City Councilman Ed Shadid, along with other concerned community members, announced this morning they will soon circulate two initiative petitions.

Each petition will seek a 0.25% increase in the income tax rate. If the group gathers enough petition signatures, the measures will go to a vote of the people in a special election.

Emily Wendler / KOSU

The promise of a teacher pay raise seemed real this year, like lawmakers were actually going to get it done. But, they didn’t. And so, once again, some teachers are packing their bags in search of more money elsewhere. However, one teacher is asking them to stay in Oklahoma, and keep fighting.

This year’s legislative session began with high hopes of a teacher pay raise.

Governor Mary Fallin stressed the need for one in her February State of the State speech, and lawmakers put multiple pay raise plans on the table.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the $6.8 Billion budget presented to lawmakers with just a few days left in the 2017 as well as the revenue bills getting passed to pay for the nearly $900M shortfall and the process of releasing the budget shortly before midnight on Tuesday.

The trio also the failure of lawmakers to pass a teacher pay raise bill and the Oklahoma Democratic Party elects possibly its youngest chair in 24-year-old Anna Langthorn.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the situation with the budget as lawmakers have just three weeks left in the session while the governor is threatening a special session and a deadline passes without a teacher raise making it through both chambers.

All of the bills promising a teacher pay raise are dead for this legislative session. But, some lawmakers are still fighting for one.

The Senate’s deadline to vote on House Bill 1114 was Thursday, but they chose to not even discuss the measure.

The bill proposed a multi-year approach to increasing teacher pay, starting with a 1,000 raise next year, and a 6,000 dollar bump by year three.

A teacher pay raise bill is one step closer to hitting the Governor's desk, after Lawmakers passed it out of its final Senate Committee on Wednesday.

The Senate Committee on Appropriations voted 39-3 for House Bill 1114.

The measure calls for a $1,000 teacher pay raise next year, $2,000 the following year and $3,000 in the third year. A $1,000 raise would cost about $53 million a year.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill about the Office of Management and Enterprise Services announcing it had taken $240M from the state's Rainy Day Fund to pay for operating expenses and the House heats up with a bill to provide a $34M supplemental appropriation to the Department of Human Services.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the passing of political commentator and journalist Mike McCarville, the State Supreme Court dismisses a challenge against its newest justice Patrick Wyrick and Sallisaw Republican Representative John Bennett requires participants of Muslim Day to fill out a controversial questionnaire over the Islamic religion.

LLUDO / FLICKR (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

A plan approved overwhelmingly in the House to raise Oklahoma teacher pay by $6,000 over the next three years appears to be facing a stiffer challenge in the state Senate.

Senate President Pro Tem Mike Schulz said Thursday without a way to pay for the raise, House Bill 1114 amounts to giving teachers "false hope."

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