On Thursday, April 21, Univ. of Oklahoma President David Boren delivered 308,000 signatures to the Oklahoma Capitol to put on the ballot his proposal, which would increase Oklahoma’s sales tax burden to #1 in the U.S. in order to fund teacher pay raises and increase other government spending.
Once again, OCPA Impact stood up to offer another path: Oklahoma lawmakers need to increase teacher pay in this 2016 legislative session, without increasing taxes.
The same day as President Boren’s signature delivery, we released a new, updated plan featuring $753 million in options for providing the $245 million necessary to give every Oklahoma public school classroom teacher a $5,000 pay raise.
To provide the teacher pay raise, lawmakers only need to utilize one-third of the options presented in our plan. To read our plan for a teacher pay raise without a tax increase, click here!
Media coverage of the dual announcements by President Boren and OCPA Impact included: KOKH Fox 25 (link), KOCO 5 News (link), The Oklahoman (link), KRMG radio/Associated Press (link), Enid News & Eagle/CNHI (link), KOSU radio (link) and NonDoc (link).
To date, OCPA Impact is the only group presenting a plan at the Oklahoma Capitol for a $5,000 teacher pay raise without raising taxes. With thousands of Oklahoma families having lost their jobs as oil prices have fallen, raising taxes is not the answer. Despite this, public education advocacy groups have endorsed the Boren tax increase 100%.
We are actively putting our plan for funding a teacher pay raise in the hands of lawmakers at the state Capitol and their constituents back home. Even with a $1.3 billion budget hole, it is very doable for lawmakers to pass a teacher pay raise by May 27, when the legislative session ends.