Tulsa Public Schools: ’18-19 budget to assume teacher raises will be funded

by Clayton Youngman

Friday, June 1st 2018

Tulsa Public Schools says its budget for the 2018-2019 school year will assume that the district will receive funding for the pay raises approved by the state legislature.

The district says the budget for next school year will plan for $23 million in funding to give raises to teachers and support staff. That accounts for the average $6,100 raise for teachers called for by HB1023XX, as well as the $1,250 raise for support employees called for by HB1026XX.

But there’s a chance the district might not get that funding. A group called Oklahoma Taxpayers Unite! is working to roll back the tax increases that were signed into law to fund the raises. The group is petitioning to put the tax increases to a vote of the people in November, but they claim that repealing the taxes would not mean teachers didn’t get raises.

TPS Chief Financial Officer Nolberto Delgadillo estimates that if the tax increases are defeated in November, the district could still potentially collect 70 percent of the funding needed to afford the pay raises. The district says they would not be able to make up the difference beyond that point.

“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,” Delgadillo said in a press release. “At this point, we are still working to understand the logistics of how we would distribute the funding.”

MORE | TPS cancels classes on Election Day so teachers, administrators can vote

Tulsa Public Schools is asking its teachers to sign their contracts for next school year by Friday. Some teachers have held off on signing because those contracts do not reflect the pay raise enacted by the legislature due to the uncertainty of the raises’ future.

The district says the announcement on the budget will not affect the contracts being offered to teachers.

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