The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


September 26, 2013

Retain bright educators and keep them motivated

ENID, Okla. — A recently released study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities claims Oklahoma has made the deepest cuts of any state in per-student funding for public schools since before the recession.

The study, “Most States Funding Schools Less Than Before the Recession,” shows 34 states are providing less funding for K-12 education.

It found Oklahoma is spending 22.8 percent less per student than in fiscal year 2008. That’s the biggest spending cut of all 50 states.

Looking beyond this particular funding study, we believe that losing competent teachers to other states is a big issue. The total compensation package of Oklahoma’s offerings shouldn’t trail the rest of our neighboring region.

Many of us know of friends or family moving out of state due to higher teacher pay.

“We currently have a big teacher shortage in Oklahoma, and a lot of that can be attributed to the fact that all the surrounding states pay a higher wage,” said Shawn Hime, superintendent of Enid Public Schools.

Although State Superintendent Janet Barresi had not reviewed the report, she said she’s been advocating for targeted increases in education funding to benefit student learning.

“The reality is we do not pay our teachers enough, and that is why I want our schools to increase pay $2,000 for each teacher,” she said.

We want our state to retain bright, engaged educators and keep them motivated, not demoralized.

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