During contract negotiations with local school districts last summer, questions arose about the application of the teacher pay raise provided for in the legislation. As a result, Senator Stratton Taylor requested clarification of these issues from the Attorney General in the form of two questions:
1) Must a state-paid teacher, employed by a public school district in Oklahoma for the 2005-06 school year, receive a minimum $3,000 increase in salary level for the 06-07 school year, plus an amount equal to the applicable experience step increment on the statutory minimum salary schedule?
2) Under the language...may a public school district substitute non-salary benefit payments or employer contributions for part or all of the mandated salary increase?
School districts and locals have been waiting on the opinion and it was released on Friday afternoon. The answer to question 1 is yes and the answer to question 2 is no.
We believe the AG opinion issued on Friday accurately interprets the legislation and intent of the legislature in providing teacher pay raises during the last legislative session.