The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Featured Story

January 25, 2014

Tulsa superintendent: Teacher pay raises a must

TULSA, Okla. — The superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools says Oklahoma must do more to compete with higher teacher salaries in surrounding states to address its worsening teacher shortage.

Superintendent Keith Ballard told Tulsa-area lawmakers on Friday that there has been no state-mandated pay raise for teachers in Oklahoma since 2006. Ballard said funding for both common and higher education has dropped off significantly.

"We are in competition with northwest Arkansas. We are in competition with the Dallas-Fort Worth area," Ballard said at a special meeting that the Tulsa School Board hosts for legislators each year.

"The money is there, but it's about how those funds are managed," Ballard said. "How could we possibly be looking at an income tax cut when we have a teacher shortage and critical needs?"

Last fall, the Oklahoma Education Workforce Shortage Task Force began studying the issue. State Schools Superintendent Janet Barresi has also addressed it.

Tulsa School Board has voted to use $430,820 donated by local philanthropists to get teacher recruiting assistance from a national organization.

Nearly 400 Tulsa teachers retired or resigned in the previous school year. The district started the current year short-handed and never caught up.

State Sen. Gary Stanislawski, a Tulsa Republican and vice chairman of the Senate Education Committee, responded to Ballard's comments by saying: "There are people who have asked, 'What about buying more time with that pay raise?'"

Ballard said he would support the concept of increasing instructional time in exchange for a statewide pay hike.

Ballard recalled a conversation he had with a superintendent from the Spring Branch school district in Houston who expressed shock when Ballard told him the starting pay for teachers in Oklahoma was about $32,000.

"His district starts teachers at $47,000 and they're going up to $50,000 next year," Ballard said.

Rep. Kevin Matthews, D-Tulsa, said his son is a recent college graduate who is teaching in Dallas through the Teach for America program. He said he loves teaching in the urban setting but "wouldn't dream" of coming back to Tulsa because of the pay.

"We don't have the political will when we get to the Capitol to say they have to have quality pay and benefits," Matthews said. "We have a great system, but we can't retain them because they can get paid better other places."

Ballard noted that Tulsa Public Schools has closed school buildings, renegotiated contracts and engaged in an aggressive utility-savings initiative to fund salary increases to make itself more competitive in hiring.

---

AP Source: Tulsa World

 

1
Text Only
Featured Story
  • CUELLARJD_5 copy.jpg EPD captain: Enid man arrested in 'worst domestic' he's seen

    Becerra Jose D. Jesus Cuellar is accused of beating, torching and pointing a gun at the head of his girlfriend, at times in front of their children, between Saturday and Monday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Oklahoma Bombing Vide_Hass.jpg Man claims tampering in case over bombing videos

    Trentadue says the agency is refusing to release videos that show a second person was with Timothy McVeigh when he parked a truck outside the Oklahoma City federal building and detonated a bomb that killed 168 people. The government says McVeigh was alone.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • flood watch.tiff UPDATED: Garfield County under flash flood watch

    Rainfall chances start in earnest tonight, with an 80 percent chance after 2 a.m. that increases to 90 percent Wednesday and Wednesday night. Flooding in streets, ditches and low-lying areas could be possible.

    July 29, 2014 7 Photos

  • storm_W.jpg Storm victims face dilemma: accept loans or reject them

    The tornadoes, flooding and hail that struck Oklahoma last year left hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage, causing many home and business owners to seek help in the form of low-interest federal loans.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Quilts_4_BH_W.jpg History of an art form

    Woven amongst the fabric, patterns and stitches in the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center’s newest special exhibit are stories of past generations.

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • Academy.jpg State prisons expand their reach to train new officers

    On a recent day, a class in the McAlester program was filled with the sounds of bodies thudding onto thick, rainbow-colored pads held together by duct tape, along with heavy breathing and tapping as cadets indicated they’d successfully been subdued.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • FortStillFacility.jpg FBI: No arrests yet in scam targeting migrant kids

    Con artists use private information about the children to contact their family members and demand payment for bogus processing and travel expenses needed to reunite the kids with their relatives. Families with migrants in Texas and Oklahoma have been targeted.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo 4 Stories

  • Child Tax Credit_Hass.jpg House votes to boost child tax credit for some

    With nearly all Republicans voting in favor and most Democrats opposed, the bill cleared the House by a vote of 237-173. The White House threatened to veto the bill, though the Democratic-controlled Senate is unlikely to pass it.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Oil-Covered Owls_1_JN.jpg Caretaker: One of 2 oil-covered owls has died

    Jean Neal and her husband, Jim, of Fairview, have been caring for the owls since Tuesday, July 22, 2014, when they received them from Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, which is investigating the incident and the death of several other birds found at a neglected oil field tank site.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Virginia Storm_Hass.jpg 2 dead, dozens hurt after storm at Va. campground

    "All hell broke loose. We got an emergency message on a cellphone and within 30 seconds, the thing hit and it blew down 40, 50 trees in the park." — Joe Colony, who has been coming to the campground for 30 years

    July 24, 2014 7 Photos

Featured Ads
AP Video
Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob
House Ads
Facebook