Breaking Down the Education Budget Decisions

Edgar's picture

We are now in the final month of the legislative session. With the end right around the corner, budget discussions have picked up substantially. I serve as vice chair of the Education Appropriations & Budget Subcommittee, where I help prioritize spending for public education, including higher education and CareerTech in addition to our public schools.

Last year, the Legislature appropriated a record $2.9 billion to common education. This year, education agencies have requested an additional $140 million in addition to last year’s record-breaking budget. About half of that request would go to a $1,200 pay raise for public school teachers.

The Governor, in his State of the State address at the start of session in February, named this pay raise as one of his top priorities this session. Early in session, the House passed a bill to give teachers this pay raise in addition to last year’s increase, which would rank Oklahoma’s teachers as the highest paid in the region. However, that pay raise bill was stalled in the Senate, so the House amended Senate Bill 441 to include the pay raise. After SB441 passed, the Senate requested a conference committee to discuss changes to the bill, so we’ll soon begin to finalize the bill’s language.

 

 

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