Bill to Raise Teacher Salaries Overcomes First Obstacle

A bill that would raise the pay for Oklahoma public school teachers passed the House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee by a 6-0 vote Monday morning.

The bill will next be assessed by the full House Committee on A&B.

Starting in the 2014-15 year, House Bill 2313 would adjust teacher salary levels to be equal with the regional salary for teachers with similar experience, hours and duties.

The region that Okla. salaries would have to match includes the states of Texas, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico and Missouri.

"Oklahoma teachers have not had a pay raise for seven years," Representative Mike Brown said to justify the bill.

"Consequently, they are being paid an average of 9 percent less than teachers in our surrounding states," Brown said.