Oklahoma City (KFOR) – All five board members present at Thursday’s meeting voted to approve the $3.5 billion budget.

In it, the board requested a general increase of $5,000 for all teachers.

“We need to be competitive and attract and retain great teachers,” said Joy Hofmeister, the state’s director of public education.

This increase will add $309 million to the budget.

The district also has the money to hire more support staff, Hoffmeister said.

“They can hire more school counselors, but they can also add support staff,” the state superintendent said. “These are bus drivers, cafeteria workers, paraprofessionals and those who work with special education students.”

Oklahoma ranks fourth in our region in average teacher salary. The current figure is around $54,000.

This figure may be misleading for some, as the starting salary is around $36,000.

The state average includes a few other factors:

  • State benefits including health and dental
  • A range of salaries, from entry-level teachers to more experienced teachers
  • All staff with a teaching degree, including administrators and directors

Supervisors are not included in the average workforce.

After an increase of $5,000, the average price would rise to $59,000.

Hoffmeister hopes the increase puts Oklahoma on a par with other states in the region, but she also wants to bring more educators back into the classroom.

The state Department of Education provides statistics on the number of teachers who have valid certifications but are not in the profession.

“We are seeing a continued increase in the number of certified emergency teachers simply because no qualified candidates have been found,” said

33,000 teachers do not teach.

In 2018 and 2019, when teachers received their last pay rise, more teachers returned to the classroom.

Hoffmeister also explained that a salary increase for the next school year could deter teachers from retiring because the new salaries will help them with their retirement plans.

The budget is now submitted to state legislators for approval.

source link

Leave a Reply