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Oklahoma State Board of Education backs Hofmeister's teacher pay raise plan

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Oklahoma’s State Board of Education approved a more than $3.5 billion budget proposal Thursday morning.

The proposal includes a $5,000 raise for Oklahoma teachers that has been championed by state schools superintendent and Democratic candidate for Governor Joy Hofmeister.

Board member Estela Hernandez said the plan was sound.

“I don’t think there’s anyone here that is against the teacher pay raise,” she said. “We know that our teachers deserve that and more.”

Hofmeister said the potential raise still has a long way to go as part of the proposal.

The legislature will have final say about what the budget will look like when it puts one together next spring.

Hofmeister had announced Monday she would propose the raise and make achieving it a central pillar of her campaign. The raise would cost roughly $310 million annually.

Oklahoma currently has the fourth-lowest teacher pay among its neighbors per the Oklahoma State School Board Association, and pays less than the regional average. Additionally, the OSSBA has found the state spends the least among its neighbors on education per pupil.

The state last raised teacher salaries in 2018 when they hiked teacher pay by $6,100. An additional $2,000 increase was passed in 2019.

StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership of Oklahoma’s public radio stations which relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.

Robby Korth grew up in Ardmore, Oklahoma and Fayetteville, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Nebraska with a journalism degree.
StateImpact Oklahoma reports on education, health, environment, and the intersection of government and everyday Oklahomans. It's a reporting project and collaboration of KGOU, KOSU, KWGS and KCCU, with broadcasts heard on NPR Member stations.
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