Lawmakers Discuss Where To Find Funding To Improve Education Budget

Wednesday, March 14th 2018, 7:31 pm
By: News On 6

Lawmakers at the state capitol say they’re talking every single day about education funding.

State Representative Earl Sears says, “every day, people are talking about a solution, a plan, an idea.”

The Bartlesville Public Schools Board of Education sent a plan to legislators, saying the time is now for them to take action.

Sears says “the message is we don’t want to walk out, but we don’t see a plan, hear a plan.  Here is Bartlesville’s plan.”

The proposed plan asks for state leaders to pay teachers and fund public schools – a message Sears says rings clear statewide.

“Let there be no misunderstanding.  We have tried that and two plans have failed,” said Sears.  “It’s not only the people of my district who are upset.  I think the people of Oklahoma are frustrated.”

Sears say that, in his opinion, there’s no way to give teachers the raise they deserve without also raising taxes.

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“We need to invest in our people, our infrastructure, and we need to invest in Oklahoma – and I think the time is now to do that,” stated Sears.

State Representative Travis Dunlap says he supports giving teachers a raise, but would like to do that without raising taxes.

“Everybody wants teachers to be compensated more.  There’s no question about it,” said Dunlap.  “I’m hoping we can prioritize our spending decisions, make teacher pay the priority in the budget, and get the budget done very quickly.”

However, the question remains – will lawmakers come to an agreement before April 2nd?

Neither Sears nor Dunlap can say for certain, but Dunlap says that even in challenging times like these, the future is bright for Oklahoma.