OKLAHOMA CITY — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister made the following remarks in reaction to the recently announced state budget agreement:

“With Oklahoma in the midst of a serious revenue shortfall, I am thankful the Oklahoma State Department of Education budget was not reduced.

“It’s a severe disappointment that this agreement was unable to address a crippling teacher shortage that continues to negatively impact Oklahoma schoolchildren. The longer we fail to make our investment in common education a priority, the more likely it is we will pay economic and societal costs down the road. Our teachers deserve better than salaries that are among the lowest in the nation.

“In the months ahead we will renew our efforts to establish common education and our teachers as the very top of priorities for the children and citizens of Oklahoma.”