The Muskogee Board of Education approved agreements with two school unions that included pay raises, despite the fact that the district is facing funding cuts in state funding.
New teachers will be receiving a $325 raise over last year, and support personnel will get $0.10 more per hour (a rather measly pay raise, if you ask me).
This all comes at a time when the school district had nearly 3% cut from its state funds for August, which could grow to a five percent cut in the coming months. Also, in 2012 the Muskogee Public Schools will be have a 15% cut in funding, due to the stimulus money and Title 1 money coming to an end.
John Little, the chief financial officer for MPS, is hoping that the legislature will allocate money from the Rainy Day Fund to help cover the shortfall, and this brings out the real motive.
The Oklahoma Education Association and other liberal unions and organizations have been calling for the legislature to convene a special session to disperse money from the Rainy Day Fund, since the state had a budget shortfall this year.
Calling a special session would cost the state more money, and we should not be raiding the Rainy Day Fund at this time. School districts and other state agencies should tighten their belts, and not hand out pay raises when they know they can't afford them.
The Rainy Day Fund is for the state government to use in dire financial straits, not to cover pay raises that should never have been issued in the first place by greedy agencies.