Courtesy Tulsa Public Schools
Tulsa Public Schools has announced that the district’s 2018-2019 budget is being developed under the assumption that 100 percent of the certified and support personnel pay raises as outlined in House Bill 1023XX and House Bill 1026XX will be funded by the state.
Superintendent Deborah Gist said: “Time and time again, Oklahomans have demonstrated their support for public education, and we remain hopeful that (should a referendum occur) our community will again stand up for our teachers, students, and schools.
“We want our teachers and support team members to know that they will take home any additional state funding for increased salaries,” said Gist. “We also remain committed to doing all that we can to advocate for long-term solutions that create permanent revenue to fully fund not only this salary increase but also a full restoration of – and meaningful investment in – state funding for public education.”
The district’s proposed 2018-2019 budget will include an estimated $23 million in projected funding for teacher and support staff salaries, representing the anticipated increase in state revenue resulting from HB1023XX and HB1026XX.
Chief Financial Officer Nolberto Delgadillo estimates that even in the event of a ballot initiative, Tulsa Public Schools may still be able to collect approximately 70 percent of the revenue created by HB1023XX and HB1026XX. This means that even if the new revenue is not enough to cover the entirety of the legislated raises, the district will still ensure that whatever new salary funding is received would be paid to teachers and support professionals.
“Regardless of the amount of funding we receive, we will pass every cent of that new revenue directly on to our educators and support staff. At this point, we are still working to understand the logistics of how we would distribute the funding,” said Delgadillo. “Moving forward, however, we will continue to be relentless in advocating for the professional, nationally-competitive salaries that they deserve,” said Delgadillo.