Statement from OSSBA Executive Director Shawn Hime on Gov. Stitt’s State of the State Address and Budget Proposal
Gov. Stitt’s focus on supporting public education and his proposal to invest nearly $100 million more in school funding are promising signs that this legislative session will build on last year’s historic investment in Oklahoma’s children and their schools.
The state’s largest-ever teacher pay raise was a critical first step in reversing a history of chronic underfunding amid an ongoing, severe teacher shortage. Still, states surrounding Oklahoma invest on average about $1,100 per student more in public education. We continue to hear from education leaders about the desperate need for a long-term funding education plan to reduce class sizes; restore elective coursework like art, music and honors courses; provide classroom resources; increase training support for teachers; and broaden access to mental health counselors and school-based social workers.
Oklahoma’s teachers continue to love and educate nearly 700,00 children under difficult conditions. They need support and relief, and our children deserve better. We look forward to working with the governor and legislators to ensure our state’s public schools and the children they serve remain a top priority.