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Chicken-Fried News: QuikTrip pay

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve known increasing teacher pay is a key issue in Oklahoma politics. When it comes to pay, Oklahoma is dishing out low salaries and losing quality educators. In fact, Oklahoma’s minimum teacher salary ranges from $31,600 to $46,000.

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister has been a leading advocate of raising teacher pay. Not long ago, Hofmeister began illustrating the poor pay by explaining a teacher with a doctorate degree and 25 years’ experience would make more money working at the local Chipotle restaurant.

You might think about that the next time you order a chicken burrito with cilantro-lime rice, black beans, corn salsa, cheese and extra guac.

Now, the Chipotle reference is so last year. These days, Tulsa-based QuikTrip and its compensation package is outshining school districts. According to NewsOn6.com, a teacher with a degree and 11 years of experience earns the same as a starting full-time QuikTrip employee with a high school diploma. Ouch!

You might think abut that the next time you visit the convenience store for gas, a lottery ticket or a freshly crafted sandwich from the Grab & Go area.

Before you say, “QuikTrip pays its employees too much!” or “QuikTrip employees work year-round!” Let’s hear from company spokesman Mike Thornbrugh on why QuikTrip dishes out good wages and medical benefits.

“There’s no question that you get the pick of employees, you get longer tenure and people tend to stick around, and not just for the salary, but for the philosophy of the company and what the possibilities you can do,” Thornburgh told NewsOn6.com.

Oklahoma is witnessing a statewide teacher shortage as educators are leaving the profession for better-paying jobs. At each state school board meeting, the board approves hundreds of emergency certifications steering unqualified individuals into the role of classroom teacher.

Businesses like QuikTrip and Chipotle know that paying employees more can be more profitable in the long run. What Oklahoma teachers want to know is, when will Oklahoma lawmakers see the benefit? Perhaps next time they order a burrito and fill up their tanks.

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