Oklahoma Teachers Continue Pursuit To Better Pay

Monday, October 23rd 2017, 10:05 pm

The budget needs some Democratic support for it to pass. That's why many teachers say they aren't planning on a pay hike just yet.

Some teachers say they've had a raise dangled in front of them before, so they're not exactly optimistic. It's no secret Oklahoma has a severe teacher shortage.

That's why emergency teacher certifications continue to go up year after year.

Teachers say their colleagues are leaving for better-paying school districts in nearby states. And while this is a step in the right direction, they say it's just a start.

"Unfortunately, I think a lot of this is political posturing,” said Jenks High School Teacher Blake Connelly. “But until it's actually passed until the legislation is actually done, I don't have a lot of hope."

Shawna Mott-Wright of Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association added, “They can do better! We know they can do better. We need long-term funding. Yes, we want a teacher raise but we need to fund core services because a raise without funding core services, kind of ridiculous!"

We also got a statement from Broken Arrow Public Schools.

The Superintendent said in part:

"We are hopeful that our leadership is moving toward resolution in this budget shortfall. Teacher quality is directly connected to student success, and teachers must be paid an income that allows them to take care of their families."

The governor committed to a pay raise for teachers during her state of the state address at the start of the new legislative session back in February.

Oklahoma ranks near the bottom of the nation in teacher pay.