Oklahoma teachers might get a raise!

                                                           

The Oklahoma House of Representatives’ teacher pay proposal moved to the floor calendar late Monday after winning approval from the Appropriations and Budget Committee.

                                                                                 

Unlike the Senate, which has six live teacher raise bills, House leaders have concentrated their efforts on one — House Bill 1114, by Rep. Michael Rogers, R-Broken Arrow.          

Rogers’ bill calls for raises totaling $6,000 per teacher over the next three years, beginning with a $1,000 bump in the 2017-2018 school year. Increases of $2,000 and $3,000 would follow.

Total cost of the proposal is $53.7 million in the first year and $316 million when fully implemented.

Not surprisingly, some members wanted to know where House leaders think they will find that amount even as general revenue shrinks.

Rogers said the House will have “some opportunities to vote on some things, whether it be reforms or new revenue.”

Appropriations and Budget Committee Chairwoman Leslie Osborn, R-Mustang, was a little more blunt in her explanation. A few minutes later, while presenting a general pay raise bill for state employees, Osborn said, “My hope is that putting some of these (spending bills) out there, it will force people to look at the real numbers and consider broadening the tax base.”

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