Following the 2017 legislative session, Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration (CCOSA) Executive Director Dr. Pam Deering says they remain committed to Oklahoma students and educators.
“We appreciate the work of our legislators in this tough budget year and their efforts to protect funding for education. We realize that there were significant challenges across all of state government to fund the core services,” Deering said in a press release.
She continued, “However, when you look at what our public school leaders have been through over eight years of cuts, we are still facing huge financial challenges. We have a growing student population, teachers are leaving the state in droves and we have a generation of students who deserve to have access to the educational resources they need to thrive and learn.
In February, Legislators were hopeful for a teacher pay raise. In the following months, plans were revealed, but how to fund those plans never came to light.
The teacher pay raise became a distant memory as legislators passed a budget just hours before a deadline.
State Rep. Michael Rogers carried the House’s plan that would have raised the minimum salary by $1,000 in the first year, $2,000 a year later and $3,000 a year after that.
State Sen. David Holt introduced a different kind of teacher raise bill this year. His legislation would have given local districts $10,000 over the next four years to give directly to each teacher.
“Unfortunately, we are ending the legislative session without a teacher pay raise or any long-term plan for funding our public schools,” Deering said. “CCOSA remains committed to working with our legislators, local communities and educators to find solutions for the future.”