OEA Responds To Potential Teacher Raises

Monday, September 19th 2022, 8:53 pm


Raises may be on the horizon for educators in Oklahoma. State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister is proposing a $5,000 raise in the state education budget. 

The Oklahoma Education Association said this is a great first step, but more must be done to address the long-standing teacher shortage. 

“This is what we need to be doing, looking at plans to invest in our educators,” said Katherine Bishop, the OEA President. 

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Education there are 52,850 certified teachers in the state. The raise would cost around $310 million. 

“Competitive pay is the most important thing right now but what we have to do is look at long-term sustainable funding, what are we going to do? We’ve got to stop just throwing money at it every 5-10 years,” said Bishop. 

The Oklahoma Education Association said it is a step in the right direction, but a lasting solution is a longtime coming. 

“We’re going on a decade of a teacher shortage. I know states are experiencing it across the nation, but Oklahoma has been experiencing it the longest,” she said. 

Hofmeister, who's running for Governor, mentioned other states in the region with higher wages and recognized the importance of remaining competitive.  

In a statement she said, “this investment is vital to our ability to build a sustainable teacher workforce, necessary for providing the high-quality education Oklahoma students need and deserve.” 

“Our schools that are on our borders lose teachers every year to our bordering states,” said Bishop. 

Governor Stitt also responded to the proposed pay increase saying he has "funded public education at historic highs, raising teacher pay, and enacting a matching fund to get our best teachers to six-figure salaries.” 

“It’s time for our state leaders to start recognizing that education is a workforce, and it is one of the largest workforces in our state and we have to invest in that workforce,” said the President of the OEA. 

The pay raise will be presented this Thursday at the next state board of education meeting. 


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