OKLAHOMA CITY, OK—Statement by Ed Allen, president of the Oklahoma City American Federation of Teachers which represents 2,600 Oklahoma City public school teachers, on the Oklahoma House of Representatives’ bill to raise teacher salaries by an average of $6,000, which would be paid by, among other sources, raising the gross production tax on oil and gas to 5 percent, a 3 cent-a-gallon tax on gasoline purchases, and a $5-per-night tax on hotel and motel stays.
“We’re gratified that legislators listened to teachers’ voices and their stories about how their salaries were not a livable wage and don’t reflect the important and hard work they do every day. The House bill, which still needs Senate approval, shows a lot of progress towards valuing educators and the need to raise revenue in a responsible way to pay for the raises and more investment in education. We want to thank the supermajority of legislators who put aside partisan politics to provide a bipartisan solution for a significant teacher pay raise.”
“Tonight, the Oklahoma City AFT will hold a telephone town hall meeting with educators to discuss the legislation, answer questions and get a sense of their wishes. Starting tomorrow, we will survey Oklahoma City AFT members formally about the legislation.”