OEA responds to $625 million education budget deal

On Monday, the Oklahoma Senate, House, and Governor held a press conference to announce an agreement to an education budget deal that includes $625 million to public schools, $3,000 to $6,000 pay raises for certified educators, and six weeks of maternity leave. OEA President Katherine Bishop responded with this statement:

We appreciate lawmakers for listening to the concerns of educators and parents by investing $625 million into public education, including a $3,000 to $6,000 raise for certified educators, and six weeks of maternity leave. To keep and attract our best educators, it is imperative we not only compensate them as professionals, but also treat them with dignity and respect. 

That same principle applies to the education support professionals who are the glue of our schools. We encourage and expect local school districts to reward them with a much needed and well-deserved pay raise from the substantial funding allocated to local school districts. Oklahoma education support professionals are currently 50th in the country in pay, which is unacceptable. 

When we invest in the 90% of families who choose public schools and the professionals who serve them, we are investing in the future of Oklahoma. 

We want to thank the OEA members who held dinners with legislators in their communities, advocated for their students and profession at the Capitol, sent emails, made phone calls, and did whatever it took to work with legislators to produce a result that will improve the future for Oklahoma children. 

This current education plan is a great step towards making public education a core value of Oklahoma and lifting us out of the bottom of the region in per-student funding. We look forward to a continuing, long-term commitment to public education values to be competitive in the region and give every Oklahoma child the best chance at success.

In Solidarity,

Katherine Bishop, OEA President