Representative Mike Brown has announced he has filed legislation to increase the salaries of Oklahoma teachers employed by a public school district to the regional average. According to Brown, “This legislation would require teacher salaries in Oklahoma to be adjusted each year to equal the regional average for other teachers in the region with the same years of experience, hours, and duties. States included in determining the regional average would be Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma.”
According to Representative Brown, “Oklahoma has some of the most dedicated, hard-working teachers in the nation. Despite being passed over for a raise year after year, they have continued to provide a quality education to our young people. It’s time for Oklahoma to compensate the teachers in our state for their service. If funding can be found to give up to 59% pay increases to some state administrators, surely funding should be available to give our teachers a modest increase, estimated to be from 2% to 6%, to bring their salaries up to the regional average.”
“Oklahoma taxpayers should be outraged at the recent revelation that many state agency directors have received huge raises, while teachers have gone years without any increase in compensation. Leadership in the Oklahoma legislature has repeatedly refused to fund pay increases for our teachers and other public servants,” stated Brown.
According to recent reports, the Oklahoma Tourism Director just received a $40,000 pay increase, bringing her salary from 86,000 to $126,508. This equals a 47% increase. Other raises this year include an increase of 59%, from $80,138 to $127,000, for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Director; a 30% increase, from $133,455 to $173,318, for the Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse; and an increase of 56%, from $90,000 to $140,000 for the new Secretary of State.
Representative Brown continued, “While these administrators are receiving pay increases ranging from 30% to 59%, Oklahoma teacher salaries are falling further and further behind the regional average. The legislation I filed today will give our teachers a much deserved increase in salary.