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OK Teachers, Lawmakers Discuss Education In 2017

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Many of the teachers said they don't feel like education is a priority in Oklahoma, but the lawmakers said that's not the case. Many of the teachers said they don't feel like education is a priority in Oklahoma, but the lawmakers said that's not the case.
The legislators promised education will be a focus in the next session and said they want to increase teacher pay in Oklahoma. The legislators promised education will be a focus in the next session and said they want to increase teacher pay in Oklahoma.
“When you look at the numbers, Oklahoma is at the bottom, and, personally, I would like to be in a state where I could feel proud that I work there and not feel pitied that I work there,” said Jenks teacher Gayle Wolfe. “When you look at the numbers, Oklahoma is at the bottom, and, personally, I would like to be in a state where I could feel proud that I work there and not feel pitied that I work there,” said Jenks teacher Gayle Wolfe.
JENKS, Oklahoma -

Oklahoma's Board of Regents wants nearly $150 million more for colleges and universities than they received last year.

The board voted to ask lawmakers for almost 960 million for next year's budget. That's despite the big budget shortfall the state is facing next year.

Teachers, parents and administrators got the chance to ask lawmakers how they’re planning to beef up education spending at a legislative luncheon in Jenks.

Many of the teachers said they don't feel like education is a priority in Oklahoma, but the lawmakers said that's not the case.

More than 100 Oklahoma educators met with a panel of about 12 state lawmakers Friday afternoon. A big topic was where do teachers stand after state question 779 failed.

Had it passed, the one-percent increase to state sales tax would have raised teacher pay $5,000.

The legislators promised education will be a focus in the next session and said they want to increase teacher pay in Oklahoma.

But, Representative Weldon Watson said the budget will be the top issue on the capitol this year, and that will affect everything, including education.

He said putting more money into schools and teacher pay will be tough.

Teachers said, in general, they feel sad about how Oklahoma's education system is viewed by others.

“When you look at the numbers, Oklahoma is at the bottom, and, personally, I would like to be in a state where I could feel proud that I work there and not feel pitied that I work there,” said Jenks teacher Gayle Wolfe.

One of the lawmakers that spoke, Representative Michael Rogers, has been in office two years. He said one of the first things he noticed that needs to be fixed within the Oklahoma legislature is that we need long-term thinking and long-term planning rather than reactive planning.

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