I got a desperate e-mail today from a 20-year teacher who said he may have to move to Texas or Alaska because he just can't make ends meet on what we pay him. I believe him.
He said Oklahoma teachers "..are paid $32K a year to start...and you cannot buy a house, have a decent car and pay back student loans on that pathetic salary. . fewer young people are getting degrees in education and many of those who do immediately move to Texas where they can start at $8-10K a year MORE.."
That's true, and I was reminded of it by an OSU student studying to be a high school English teacher who told me when her professor asked how many of them planned to leave Oklahoma because of the low pay, most of the class raised their hands.
So here we are with a teacher shortage of 1,000 open teaching positions, and most of the future teachers we're training aren't interested in staying here.
There's no way around it, we have to raise our teachers' salaries - have to!
The new Superintendent has proposed a $5,000 pay increase stretched out over a few years. Teachers haven't had a pay raise in eight years, and that's shameful.
It's time for the legislature to stop passing the buck on this, even though money is short, they have to come up with a plan to pay our current and future teachers a decent salary.
Stop taking them for granted!