Gov. Stitt, OEA Weigh In On Possible Hazard Pay For Teachers

Tuesday, January 26th 2021, 5:12 pm
By: Karl Torp

The second wave of CARES Act funding is giving Oklahoma school districts more to think about as students begin heading back to the classroom.

Districts could decide to use their share of the money to give teachers hazard pay if students return full-time to the classroom.

In Oklahoma, it a will amount to $665 million for education.

News 9 spoke with Gov. Kevin Stitt recently about how hazard pay for teachers could speed up the time frame for a return to traditional in school learning. 

Theoretically, it could provide teachers with some piece of mind until they are able to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The decision on hazard pay for teachers would be left up to each school district.

“I’m going to leave that up the superintendents. If it’s in their budgets to retain the very best teachers, that is something I’m sure I’d be supportive of,” Stitt said.

However, the Oklahoma Education Association is not pushing for hazard pay.

“With this extra CARES Act money, we should pay these folks for the extra time they’ve been teaching virtually and learning all the things they needed to teach virtually,” said OEA President Alicia Priest.

Priest said she feels if districts are in a position where “hazard pay” for teachers is necessary, then students should probably not be back in school.

The larger school districts in the Oklahoma City area still doing A-B schedules like Oklahoma City Public Schools and Edmond Public Schools told News 9 they are not considering hazard pay for teachers at this time.