The State Superintendent unveiled a proposal to increase teacher pay to the regional average and the number of days of instruction to the national average, Monday.
Joy Hofmeister said her five-year plan would provide Oklahoma teachers with a $5,000 pay increase over 2012-2013 figures and add five days of instruction to the school year after five years.
The proposal would cost $150 million in its initial year, which represents “the bulk of the requested $205 million budget increase to the Oklahoma State Board of Education” for fiscal year 2016, according to Hofmeister.
Hofmeister said higher teacher pay is a critical part of resolving a significant teacher shortage. According to the Oklahoma State School Boards Association, there are close to 1,000 teacher positions needing to be filled statewide.