View Full Version : OKC Schools raises teacher pay

10-05-2004, 10:38 PM
Well, I have to give our new superintendent a lot of credit. He's finally got the books balanced and is giving money to the people that deserve it most: the teachers. This is in stark contrast to the situation he faced when he came to office: lack of funds and having to lay of teachers. Of course, this was the result of many years of mismanagement by the OKC Public School District, and can't be blamed on Bill Wheitsel, former superintendent. If anything, Wheitsel got the ball rolling in the right direction. Anyways, I praise the new superintendent for finally getting the district moving in the right direction. From the way it sounds, the new superintendent also has the right plans for changing the district. Reducing class sizes is always a plus.

"City district approves raise for teachers

By Michael Bratcher
The Oklahoman

Teachers in the Oklahoma City School District will receive an average pay raise of about $1,850 this school year, district officials said Monday night.
The Oklahoma City School Board approved pay raises for its roughly 2,500 teachers. It's been two years since the district raised teacher pay because of a tight operating budget.

Superintendent Bob Moore said the board wanted to reward teachers for improved scores last spring on state-mandated tests.

"They worked hard and kept their focus, and we're really thrilled we're able to reward them within the context of our budget," Moore said.

The district has budgeted about $3.8 million for the pay increase.

Ed Allen, president of the Oklahoma City American Federation of Teachers, said educators will receive anywhere from $900 to $4,100 more in pay this year based on the number of years they've been teaching.

"The district and the superintendent in particular are recognizing the value of teachers in Oklahoma City Public Schools, and we appreciate that," Allen said after the board meeting.

Welcome news
Michael McGuire, a math teacher at Northeast Academy High School, said anytime the board "takes care of our teachers is great news."

McGuire should receive about a $1,700 pay raise, based on his six years experience, but he said he didn't enter the teaching profession for the money.

"I could have done a thousand other things, but teaching is what I wanted to do. It is my heart's passion," he said.

Allen said teachers could notice the raises in their paychecks as early as next month. Changes to the district's payroll system are necessary before the raises can be issued, officials said.

Typically, teachers have contracts in place before the start of the school year. Last year's contract wasn't settled until May -- less than a month before the end of the school year.

Another $1.8 million is being budgeted to reduce class sizes, which Moore hopes to accomplish by the end of the month.

Moore has a goal of reducing elementary classes to a 22-to-1 ratio of students to teachers and secondary classrooms to 25-to-1. "

10-06-2004, 03:41 PM
Our schools are key to our growth as a city. Oklahoma City schools really have an opportunity to be excellent. Moore is doing a great job. Please support them on bond issues. Those kids need every bit of help they can get.

10-06-2004, 03:52 PM
I agree! The biggest problem we had with the OKC Public Schools was that for many years they didn't even try to pass a bond issue. Back in the days of desegregation, the feds forced the school district to either distribute money equally to both black and white schools, or face the legal consequences. Well, the OKC School district decided to choose "None of the Above" and just didn't propose any new bond issues over a period of many years. As a result, the schools deteriorated, and we're left with the result today.
To bring the OKC School District back to life, we're going to have to follow the actions of suburban districts: continually propose and pass new bond issues. Only by doing this will we be able to keep the quality of our facilities in tact, which will help attract teachers to the district. Teachers don't want to come to a district with poor facilities and supplies. My brother, an elementary teacher, just recently left Columbus Elementary (in the OKC Public School District) for Webster Elementary (in the El Reno school district). The reason: facilities and supplies!

10-07-2004, 06:50 AM
Facilities & Supplies can trump pay! My girlfriend is a teacher in the mid-del district. Her school at least is VERY ghetto. How do you have classroom discipline in Mid-High when 35% of your kids are the decision makers for their families?

10-07-2004, 01:47 PM
I can tell you one thing for sure, I would never want to be a teacher in this day and time. When I was growing up, discipline was never a problem, because if I got in trouble at school, I would be in worse trouble at home. Now, there are some parents who couldn't give a flip about what their kids are doing in school. Kids are made to be adults too soon. They don't get the enjoyment of being a kid sometimes.

Nowadays, kids don't have respect for teachers or the school facilities. Plus, the teachers are having to deal with low supplies, and having to purchase supplies with their own money.

Our church is actually taking up donations on a continuing basis for a few schools in our area, because the kids are doing without things that they need to help them learn. This has been an ongoing problem for years.

10-07-2004, 06:41 PM
It's always good to hear about churches helping nearby schools. Our church does the very same thing. We just recently helped students at Taft Middle School by having a uniform drive. I was amazed by how many uniforms people donated.

Anyways, seems like a lot of parents just use the school district as a baby sitting service! My brother is a teacher at Webster Elementary in El Reno and he often feel like he raising most of his students!