Friday, March 16, 2018

McCall, POE present '60 in 6' teacher pay plan

Yesterday afternoon, House Speaker Charles McCall and former Education Committee Chairman Michael Rogers (now Vice-Chair) presented a new long-term plan for increasing teacher pay, alongside members of Professional Oklahoma Educators.

Watch the press conference below:

Professional Oklahoma Educators is a non-union, nonpartisan professional association for all school personnel, and is the second largest education association in the state, representing thousands of teachers and school staff across the state.

Below is information that POE has posted on the '60 in 6' plan:

Support the 60 in 6 Plan
The 60 in 6 Plan offers Oklahoma teachers the largest pay increase in the history of our state over the course of six years. Under this plan, the top minimum salary for teachers with 20 or more years of experience will be $60,000 by the 2023-2024 school year. This is a plan that can work because it increases salaries every year over time with annual raises of $800 per year and $1,400 every 5 years. This is designed to reward career teachers who are committed to the profession. The largest raises are at the top!

The long-term effects of this plan will yield teachers a pay rate that is above the regional average. Click here to download the changes to the minimum salary schedule by year. In order to follow along with the changes as you increase a step each year, you will need to read the spreadsheet "diagonally." Please see the highlighted example of a teacher who will begin his/her 20th year of teaching this coming fall.

The chart below illustrates what teachers can expect when the full plan is in place in school year 2023-2024.

Here are some fast facts about the 60 in 6 Plan:

  • Teachers with 20 or more years of experience will reach the top minimum level of $60,000 by the 2023-2024 school year, an increase of more than $20,000 or 50% from the current salary schedule for veteran teachers. These numbers do not include FICA & retirement benefits, which will be included in plan funding.
  • All teacher pay levels would increase by 5% in the 2018-2019 school year, the first year of the plan. The next year, teachers would see raises ranging from 9.82%-14.75% from the initial year, with overall raises of 34.18%-50.85% when the plan is fully in place after 6 years.  
  • Entry level teachers in the 2018-2019 school year would start at a minimum of $33,180, which is a five-percent increase from the $31,600 pay in the current schedule. At six years their minimum salary would be $42,400 which equates to raises totaling $10,800 or 34.18%. These numbers do not include FICA & retirement benefits, which will be included in plan funding.
  • The plan will bring the Oklahoma teacher pay average with benefits to $57,295. Today's state average is $45,245. The regional average is $48,103.
  • The salary increases with benefits requires $114.2 million in funding the first year and a total of $706.3 million to fund the full six years.
  • Some school reforms are expected to be included in the legislation for successful passage in both houses.
  • The reforms are being negotiated with lawmakers
  • The plan will shut down the exodus of teachers to other states and from the profession. The plan will help districts attract new teachers.

Instead of creating a "bandaid" effect with a one-time bonus, we realize it's important to implement a more permanent solution to increasing teacher pay. Just like in our personal bank accounts, it is difficult for the state to afford a large payout without planning. This six-year plan will allow teacher salaries to continue to increase while the state adjusts to compensate for the new amounts. The funding mechanism for this plan is still to be finalized by the legislature, though there are several viable options. The House leadership is excited about this plan, and they are committed to funding it. 

POE is excited about this plan, and we believe it is a workable compromise that will "stick." Other plans may sound great on paper, but they are meaningless if they cannot pass the legislature. We are fortunate to have the House leadership on our side with this plan, and we ask for your support. Please contact your legislators and ask them to vote YES on the 60 in 6 Plan.


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