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Chicken-Fried News: Teacher pay saga

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An Oklahoma teacher pay bill might be a tease.

Yes, earlier this month, an Oklahoma teacher pay raise bill was approved by the House, and it’s now on its way through the Senate.

However, House Bill 1114 wasn’t warmly received by Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz.

“I think it is giving a lot of people false hope that we are going to find the money this year to do it,” Schulz told Tulsa World.

Just when we at Chicken-Fried News thought the teacher pay saga was over, we heard the f-word. Talks about funding are such a buzzkill!

While HB 1114 calls for raising teacher pay by $1,000 the next fiscal year, it doesn’t identify where those funds will come from.

Over time, HB 1114 would increase raises by $2,000 and then $3,000, according to the World.

As Schulz sees it, without funding, the only thing this proposal does effectively is raise false hope. Lawmakers have to fill an $878 million budget hole and fund key government services before they can fund teacher pay raises.

Man, oh man!

Budgeting is the worst!

Is there any chance teachers might still get a raise?

Yes, according to House Speaker Charles McCall.

Lawmakers can designate revenues to HB 1114 in an appropriations bill, one of the final pieces of legislation to pass through the House and Senate.

Right now, its’s fine to pass an unfunded teacher pay, McCall said.

“We understand there are fiscal challenges for implementation to that, but we are committed to addressing that issue because we believe the people of Oklahoma expect us to do so.”

Well, who is right?

Maybe they both are.

Or maybe — just maybe — they will work together to find a solution that works for everyone, especially teachers.

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