The Oklahoma Senate on Wednesday passed a historic revenue package to fund a $6,100, or 16 percent, pay raise on average for Oklahoma teachers. That increase moves Oklahoma from seventh to second highest in the region in average teacher pay and is the largest teacher pay raise in the history of the state.
“The Oklahoma Senate took a historic step that will have positive and long-lasting impacts on the success of our state. One of the most important factors in the success of our students is a quality, professional teacher in the classroom. Passing the largest teacher pay raise in state history moves us to No. 2 in the region in average teacher pay and will help Oklahoma retain quality teachers. It’s a significant investment in economic development because an educated workforce is essential to growing and expanding our economy. For more than 15 months, the Senate has worked tirelessly to fund a significant teacher pay raise. This is a responsible plan that answers Oklahomans’ call for the Legislature to find a solution to teacher pay. I want to thank my colleagues in the Senate for their dedication to finding a solution and seeing a teacher pay raise come to fruition,” said Senate Pro Tem Mike Schulz, R-Altus.
HB 1010xx provides $447 million in revenue by increasing the gross production to 5 percent on all wells, increasing the cigarette tax $1 per pack, and increasing the gas tax 3 cents and the diesel tax 6 cents.
The Senate also advanced HB 1011xx, which provides an additional $84.3 million for teacher pay by making changes to the state income tax code.