HB 1873 improves compensation for all teachers statewide, especially career teachers. It provides payment of a percentage of teachers' contributions to the Oklahoma Teachers' Retirement System. The payment provided on behalf of a teacher ranges from $60 for a teacher with zero years experience to $1,378 for a teacher with twenty-five years or more experience. Cost of this contribution offset is $31.6 million for common education and $1 million for vo-tech.

For FY'98 the Legislature appropriated an additional $35.7 million through the school funding formula. Funding was provided through the formula for:

  • Increased operating costs for school districts, $19.7 million.

  • Changes in the Teacher Minimum Salary Schedule (HB 1336) of $6.0 million (in addition to the $13 million appropriated in FY'97). The number of steps for years of experience increased from 15 to 25+. The salary for each new step increased $332.
  • Increased Teacher Index Incentive Weight, $10.0 million. The weight rewards schools that hire more experienced teachers.

$8.6 million more was approved for Alternative Education Grants in FY'98. This allows the continuation and expansion of statewide alternative education programs.

$2 million in new funding was provided to the State Department of Education for expanded funding of the Advanced Placement Program.

School districts with 1995 tax revenue held in escrow due to tax protests on centrally assessed property will receive the protested amount from the State Department of Education. This offsets the amount counted against the districts in the State Aid Formula.


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