OSSBA Executive Director Shawn Hime issued the following statement on today’s bipartisan budget resolution and the ongoing budget negotiations:
“The Senate’s passage of a bipartisan budget resolution calling for more diversified revenue sources and challenging House members to pass a budget plan represents meaningful progress. I’m optimistic this will help break the budget impasse.
Painful budget cuts over the last few years have hurt our schools, teachers, children, and far too many of our family, friends and neighbors. Without a bipartisan compromise, more devastation is coming. School board members have consistently sought one outcome: a long-term plan for funding public education that includes competitive teacher compensation.
More details are needed. But the outline of the plan shared today provides the prospect of much-needed growth revenue — including an increase in gross production taxes — to stabilize future state budgets.
Oklahomans know the teacher shortage has created a crisis in the classroom. That’s unacceptable. Teachers deserve a raise much higher than the $3,000 being discussed. Still, we’re hopeful this is merely a first step in funding a teacher compensation plan that rewards educators and stems the teacher shortage.
The ask of state leaders is simple: Please move forward with a diverse revenue plan to ensure all of our children receive the excellent education they need to achieve their dreams. That requires a long-term funding plan that ensures a well-equipped classroom and high-quality teacher for every child.”