Bill would give teachers $10,000 pay raise

OK state Senator David Holt wants to substantially boost public school teacher pay. (Mummolo/KTUL)

It's talked about so much it's practically become a subject to be studied, the plight of teacher salaries in Oklahoma.

"I want teachers to get a raise," said Oklahoma state Senator David Holt, submitting 12 bills that would help fund a $10,000 pay raise for each of the state's 42,000 classroom teachers. Funding mechanisms include earmarking revenue growth.

"Let's make the commitment now in a statute that when those revenues come, turn around, they go to teacher pay first, up to $200 million," he said.

There's also a proposal to add sales tax to things other states already tax but we don't.

"Repair and delivery of appliances, swimming pool repair, fur storage, there are all these things that other states apply sales tax to that we don't. I think we need to have that conversation," he said.

And the conversation will certainly be stirred by his state income tax exempt proposal.

"If you're a teacher in this state, you don't have to pay income tax, on any of your income whatsoever. I think that's an interesting way to market the profession that would raise morale in addition to the financial benefit it would provide to teachers," he said.

Doing the math on teacher pay, with lawmakers ready to buckle down on the necessary homework.

"I really think that this is the highest priority for a whole lot of my colleagues," he said.

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