Communications & Public Affairs
Jan. 3, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wes Carter, Press Secretary
Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus
Dems Call for Honest Discussion after LOFT Report on Teacher Pay
OKLAHOMA CITY — Several House Democrats released statements today criticizing the Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency’s recent rapid report on teacher pay.
As pointed out by the Tulsa World, the report used hand-picked statistics to understate Oklahoma’s below-average regional rank for teacher pay and last-place regional rank for per-pupil spending. The Tulsa World also noted that family insurance costs to Oklahoma teachers are 2-3 times higher than their regional counterparts.
Rep. Andy Fugate, D-Del City:
“Playing games with salary comparisons that ignore basics like outrageous health insurance costs is pure gaslighting. Teachers know exactly how little makes it to the bottom of their paycheck. Oklahoma’s teachers have choices. The choice they continue to make is to flee the toxic working conditions created by the Legislature. This is just one more reason to quit.”
Rep. Melissa Provenzano, D-Tulsa:
“Instead of inflating the numbers to paint a false picture where everything is coming up roses, it’s time to have an honest conversation about why careers in public service are struggling to recruit and keep employees.
“What we will find is that we have relied far too long on the servant-minded soul to do more with less. Education professionals have reached their breaking point, and many of them are leaving.”
Rep. Jacob Rosecrants, D-Norman:
“We need to face this teacher retention and teacher recruitment crisis head-on, and do all we can to attract and retain the best and brightest educators. The first step is to respect teachers and listen to them. The second is to act on their recommendations. There is no room in this conversation for gaslighting and additional lip service. Our districts, educators, parents, and our students need action.”
Rep. John Waldron, D-Tulsa:
“If teacher compensation was best in the region, why would there be a teacher exodus? We all knew better than to trust this smoke-and-mirrors report.”
Read about the education plans House Democrats have proposed at www.oklahomafocused.com.