Teacher Pay Raises A Top Priority During Oklahoma’s 2017 Legislative Session

Friday, February 3rd 2017, 6:54 pm

State legislative leaders this week released their priorities for this session. Besides bridging an estimated $900-million budget gap, lawmakers on both sides agreed teacher pay raises should be at the top of their "to-do lists."

Republicans and Democrats at the state capitol don't agree on much, but one thing they can agree on is giving teachers much needed raises.  The question is: How?

Dozens of bills have been filed to deal with the teacher pay crisis. Last November, 59-percent of voters turned down a one-cent sales tax increase that would have funded teacher raises, but only 60-percent of the money raised would have gone to teachers. The rest would go to schools and colleges. 

House Republicans are calling for a phased-in raise; what they call their 1-2-3 Plan.

Democrats are urging Republicans to focus on raises without any strings attached.

Gov. Mary Fallin is expected to outline her plans for teacher pay increases during her annual State of the State Address Monday.