“I hold teachers in the highest regard.  My sister and two of my brother-in-laws are teachers here in Oklahoma.” –  Kevin McDugle
Kevin has laid out the following plan for helping our teachers get a pay raise.  This plan works even in a downed economy.
1. Our teachers should be income tax-free.  Let’s change the law and put Oklahoma on the competitive landscape with Texas and Arkansas.  The change would mean a small increase of approximately $120 – $180 per month but it is a start.
2. Pay our teachers the allotted amount for their medical benefits.  Our teachers are allotted $600 per month for medical benefits.  If they use the benefit, that $600 is applied.  If that same teacher chooses to use a spouse’s medical benefit they currently only get $93 of the $600 allotted to them.  If we roll the $600 per month into their tax-free salary it would increase a large number of teacher’s pay by $500 a month.  Some teachers have spouses who are teachers as well and in their case, their medical benefits for family insurance cost $800 a month.  If they were both getting the $600 a month they would see an increase of $400 a month to their family’s monthly income.
3.Oklahoma has not been fiscally responsible with the money that is put into education.  When the subject of Administrative Consolidation comes up many say it won’t make much of a difference to go from 540+ Administrators to 77 (one per county).  With 540+ Administrators we also have 540+ buildings, 540+ assistants, 540+ electric bills.  Being fiscally responsible means doing your best to get the most out of the money taxpayers are paying.  We could push a lot more money to the classroom if we would consolidate even half of what we have today.  (Note: I am not talking about consolidating schools, only administration.)