Calvey Reform Funds Pay Raises While Saving The State Millions.
Rep. Kevin Calvey (R-OKC) has discovered the key to restoring teacher salaries to competitive and sustainable norms.
UPDATE: His new bill (HB 1002x) seeks to limit non-instructional staff from the current aggregate, to one per at least 18.3. Oklahoma currently pays teachers more per student than San Diego, Ca. (Read more on this)
The Calvey bill does not call for larger class sizes, as some others have been suggesting.
But San Diego pays their teachers $55K per year, compared to Oklahoma's $45K. Because San Diego has class sizes of 21.5 (average), they can pay more.
How'd We Get In This Mess?
It was the ill-conceived objective of the 1991 initiative known as House Bill 1017, which gave the OEA teachers' union a big windfall of new union members (teachers). Prior to that, most baby boomers will recall that class sizes were usually between 20 to 30 in a single classroom.
In many ways California is not an ideal role model for Oklahoma. But San Diego pays $2500 per student in teacher pay. Oklahoma pays about 8% higher ($2700). If Calvey's proposal was taken even further, Oklahoma could pay teachers $10K more and still save the state over $100 million. It is done through eliminating the 20% (or maybe 25%) of the lowest performing teachers.
There are other excellent ideas for education reform. But this is a key objective which needs to be supported.
We congratulate Rep. Calvey for his initiative to unshackle the best teachers in the state, so teachers get the support they need while students benefit from their exceptional skills in educating.
Update: If they can guide be paid more as a result of cutting the administrative bloat, the state's schools can live within their means while paying good teachers more while they guide students to success.
We need to reward them, unbind them, and watch our next generation prosper from good education.