Oklahoma lawmakers eye boost in teacher pay ahead of 2017 session
Oklahoma Sen. Ron Sharp was the first state lawmaker to file a teacher pay raise bill ahead of the 2017 legislative session. But his bill to raise the state's minimum pay scale by $5,000 highlights the challenge the Legislature will face in finalizing a pay raise plan.
"It's one thing to say teachers should be paid more, which is what my bill does," said Sharp, R-Shawnee. "But the hard part is coming up with a way to pay for it, and that's what we still need to come up with."
Following the defeat of a state question that would have increased teacher salaries by $5,000, lawmakers on both side of the aisle have said a pay increase will be a priority when the next legislative session begins in February.
But for another year of budget shortfalls with other state agencies also clamoring for funding, paying for a salary increase could be difficult.