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Representative Pushes For Oklahoma Teacher Pay Increase

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Representative Mike Brown announced that his legislation to provide a pay raise to Oklahoma teachers will be heard in the Appropriations Subcommittee for Common Education on Monday, February 17. Representative Mike Brown announced that his legislation to provide a pay raise to Oklahoma teachers will be heard in the Appropriations Subcommittee for Common Education on Monday, February 17.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Representative Mike Brown announced that his legislation to provide a pay raise to Oklahoma teachers will be heard in the Appropriations Subcommittee for Common Education on Monday, February 17.

The bill, HB2313, will require an annual adjustment to Oklahoma teacher salaries to bring them to the regional average, according a news release sent by Rep. Brown's office on Thursday.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average annual salary for a teacher in the State of Oklahoma during the 2011-2012 school year was $44,156. The average annual salary for teachers in the surrounding five states, including Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, and Texas, was $48,222.

"Oklahoma teachers are being paid an average of 9 percent less than teachers in our surrounding states," said Representative Brown.  "It is completely unacceptable for Oklahoma to be at the bottom in teacher salaries. HB2313 will at least bring our teachers up to the regional average."

Compared to last year, Brown said the State of Oklahoma has $170 million less to fund government services. Governor Fallin has requested a 5 percent cut in funding to most state agencies to help cover this shortfall. And state agencies have been dealing with decreased budgets year after year.

"With less money, they must cut back, or even eliminate, some core services," Brown said.

Additionally, Brown said the Governor and legislative leaders are pushing for a tax cut benefiting the wealthiest Oklahomans, while saving the average taxpayer less than $40 a year. Brown said this will cost the State an additional $130 million.

"It's simple mathematics," said Brown. "You can't cut income and pay teachers a livable wage. While not having a pay increase in seven years, Oklahoma teachers have continued to provide a quality education for our students. It's time for Oklahoma to let our teachers know they are valued."

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