Twenty-eighteen was a big year for the public schools of Oklahoma. There was the huge struggle to get teachers a pay raise, which slowly happened, but thousands of educators across the state still did a nine-day walkout to make lawmakers raise more money for public schools. Lawmakers did not want to give schools more money last legislative session, and those teachers haven’t forgotten about it!
“While 2018 was a step in the right direction, work remains,” said Alicia Priest, the president of the Oklahoma Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union. The OEA wants lawmakers to boost school funding by $400 million in 2019.” (stateimpact.npr.org) The Oklahoma State Department of Education also wants the similar raise in pay. Many lawmakers also think that schools need more money, but some say more funding increases should also include other stuff like district consolidation. While trying to be on the campaign trail, “Stitt said raising teacher pay is a priority, but he also talked a lot about changing the way state dollars are distributed to schools.”(stateimpact.npr.org/)
In Twenty-nineteen this is still an issue. On April 11 one year later Governor Kevin Stitt he encouraged the $1,200 for teachers and staff during his State address. If that happens, Stitt says “Oklahoma teachers would be in the top spot for the region regarding pay and benefits.” (kfor.com). As a result the House Speaker Charles McCall approved of the House Bill 1780, that will give a $1,200 pay raise for public school teachers. If the bill stays it would cost the state $70 million each year.