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Oklahoma Lawmakers Consider Teacher Pay Hike - KOAM TV 7

Oklahoma Lawmakers Consider Teacher Pay Hike

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     Pressure is mounting on the Republican-led Oklahoma Legislature to broker a deal on taxes to pay for hundreds of millions in new education spending and avert a threatened strike of teachers next week.
    Now the Oklahoma House has passed a sweeping package of tax hikes aimed at funding a teacher pay raise.
    In a late-night session on Monday, the House voted 79-19 for the $447 million package that includes tax increases on cigarettes, motor fuel, hotel and motel lodging, and oil and gas production. 
    The bill needed 76 votes to pass.
    It now heads to the Senate, where its future is uncertain. Senate President Pro Tem Mike Schulz said his members have several concerns with the plan.
    The House's teacher pay plan would increase salaries by between 15 and 18 percent, for an average of $6,100 annually.
    Oklahoma Education Association President Alicia Priest said next week's planned walkout over low pay and school funding could be a one-day celebration if lawmakers approve a deal this week.
 

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