The state House Appropriations Subcommittee for Common Education on Monday approved two bills designed to boost the pay of teachers.
House Bill 2313, by state Rep. Mike Brown, D-Tahlequah, would require that the salaries of Oklahoma teachers be adjusted annually to bring them up to the average of five surrounding states.
Oklahoma’s average annual salary for the 2011-12 school year was $44,156, while the regional average was $48,222, Brown said.
The five states used to determine the regional average would be Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico and Texas, he said.
“Oklahoma teachers are being paid an average of 9 percent less than teachers in our surrounding states,” Brown said in a prepared statement. “During this same school year, Colorado teachers earned an average of $50,407. The state of Texas paid their teachers an average of $49,017. It is completely unacceptable for Oklahoma to be at the bottom in teacher salaries. HB 2313 will at least bring our teachers up to the regional average.”
“It’s time for Oklahoma to let our teachers know they are valued.”
The bill passed the subcommittee 6-0 and now will go to the full House Appropriations Committee.