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Bartlesville school district offers funding blueprint that would fund $6,000 teacher raise

The Bartlesville school board says $700 million could be raised with a combination of things like a 5 percent gross production tax, a dollar a pack tax on cigarettes, and a $5 tax on hotel stays. The plan is called "The Time is Now." (KTUL)

The Bartlesville school district is putting its money where its mouth is, rolling out a plan that state lawmakers could use to fund education.

It had the look of a well-attended school board meeting, but in reality, it was a how-to lecture for lawmakers to find the funds for education.

"There is a way to make this happen," said Bartlesville school official Granger Meador, walking the auditorium through a powerpoint presentation of hope and compromise. Showing how $700 million could be raised with a combination of things like a 5 percent gross production tax, a dollar a pack tax on cigarettes, and a $5 tax on hotel stays. The plan is called "The Time is Now."

End result? Teachers get that $6,000 first year pay raise, but as for years two and three of the OEA demands?

"You really can't cover years two and three in our opinion because you can't hold this legislature responsible for the new one. Why would you elect a new one?" he said.

As for the number of days of a potential walkout, Bartlesville will initially allow for a 10-day walkout.

"Well, I felt like that would be the maximum amount of time that we would want to have another board meeting to see what our options are," said superintendent Chuck McCauley.

And options are what Bartlesville has laid on the table. It's one of the first districts in the state to offer concrete solutions to a problem to which many lawmakers find themselves wading through quicksand.

"Our kids are waiting, our schools are waiting for them to put down the hatchets, put down the slogans and get together and come up with a solution," said Meador.

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