Oklahoma School Superintendent Joy Hofmeister's plan to raise teacher pay in order to bring Oklahoma in line with the national average is strongly supported by Oklahoma likely voters, according to the most recent SoonerPoll.com Quarterly Poll.
The proposal, which would be phased in over five years, would add five paid days of instruction to the school's academic calendar and increase teachers' pay $5,000 across the board.
Among likely voters, 63.8 percent strongly supported the superintendent's proposal, while another 22.4 percent somewhat supported it. Only 10.1 percent opposed the proposal.
“Polling over the last few years has shown Oklahomans support teachers getting an increase in pay,” said Bill Shapard, CEO of SoonerPoll. “This particular proposal seems to have caught the interest of voters.”
Support was high across all political party lines, all parts of the state, political ideology, and both men and women of all ages.
Among conservatives, who account for more than 50 percent of the electorate, 68.1 percent of “somewhat conservatives” and 53.4 percent of “very conservatives” strongly supported the proposal. Moderates, who make up about one-third of all likely voters, strongly supported the proposal with 67.2 percent.
Republicans strongly supported the proposal with 60.2 percent and another 22.5 percent somewhat supported it, resulting in a combined support of 82.7 percent among Republicans. Democrat combined support totaled 90.5 percent.
All parts of the state strongly supported the proposal as well. Likely voters in the Tulsa metro area led with 72.2 percent strongly supporting and a combined support of 93.4 percent. Oklahoma City area voters strongly supported the proposal with 68.7 percent and rural voters with 57.0 percent.
Also of interest was the strong support among those age 55 or older, who make up nearly two-thirds of the electorate and are less likely to have school age children. Sixty-five percent of those age 65 or older strongly supported the teacher pay raise proposal, with 66.7 percent of those age 55-64 also strongly supporting it.