The Norman Transcript

Editorials

February 19, 2014

Post-Valentine’s Day kiss

NORMAN — Oklahoma teachers got a nice post-Valentine’s kiss from a state House committee this week.

It came in the form of two votes advancing teacher pay raise legislation from the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Common Education.

The catch is no funding stream is attached to the legislation, which now moves to the full House Appropriations Committee.

Bills increasing pay in a year where revenue is down an estimated $170 million have limited chances of advancing, but it’s a start and something teachers and parents can rally behind this spring.

Oklahoma’s average annual salary for 2011-2012 school year was $44,156, and the regional average was $48,222, according to published reports.

Rep. Mike Brown’s bill would raise the salary to the regional average determined by pay scales in Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico and Texas.

The other bill, sponsored by Rep. Eric Proctor, would increase teacher pay in schools with high concentrations of free and reduced lunch students.

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