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In her run for governor, State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister proposes $5,000 raise for Oklahoma teachers

Joy Hofmeister
Sue Ogrocki
Oklahoma State Schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister speaks during the Teacher of the Year Ceremony in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016.

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.

State superintendent and Democratic candidate for Governor Joy Hofmeister is calling for teachers to get a $5,000 raise.

Each fall, the state superintendent presents a proposed budget to the Oklahoma State Board of Education, where it is routinely rubber-stamped before heading to the legislature.

Hofmeister announced Monday morning that she would propose a teacher pay raise in that document and make achieving that raise a central pillar of her campaign.

The raise would cost roughly $310 million annually.

It’s unclear what the board will do about the proposal. Hofmeister and most of the Gov. Kevin Stitt-appointed members on the state board have a frosty relationship.

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

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.

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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