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Teachers say funding should be put in classrooms after Gov. Stitt proposes raise for educators

Teachers say proposed funds needed elsewhere
Posted at 8:57 PM, Feb 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-05 23:10:30-05

BIXBY, Okla. — Green Country teachers say the current set-up for classrooms isn't enough for recruitment.

On Monday Governor Stitt proposed a $1,200 raise for educators. Teachers said that adds up to about $75 a month, and they spend closer to $90 monthly on supplies.

"It's more money in my pocket every month which is great. It's a stretch as a teacher with what we're making as it is, even with a master's degree. But I think if you asked any teacher they'd all say they'd rather forgo that and put it toward classroom funding where we really need it more," Union teacher Blake Martin said.

Many classes have grown to more than 30 students, and the governor said bringing in additional teachers is the answer. But educators tell 2 Works for You with a lack of resources, people will keep leaving schools.

"The most important thing for me is meeting the individual needs of every child that sits in this classroom. I can't physically do that with class sizes where they are, and there's not a teacher in my district that feels they're able to do that to the extent that they'd like to," Bixby teacher Jessica Jernegan said.

Jernegan is also worried about the governor's signing bonus proposal: a matching program of up to $5,000 for participating districts.

"I think there could be some unintended consequences to pitting districts against each other. If you have a district that's able to pay it versus a district that's not where really our overall goal is to provide the best possible opportunity to all of our kids," she said.

But educators do feel optimistic seeing the proposal of multiple bills aimed at increasing spending on each student.
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