Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed a measure giving teachers a $6,100 pay raise and then compared their demand for more education funding to “a teenage kid that wants a better car.”
“Teachers want more,” Fallin told CBS News on Tuesday, referring to teachers rallying for higher teacher and support staff raises, as well as increased funding for education.
“But it’s like kind of having a teenage kid that wants a better car.”
Last week, Fallin signed a bill that included the pay raise for teachers. But the state teachers union said the deal fell short and teachers walked out of the classroom on Monday. Support staff are getting a $1,250 pay boost.
House Bill 1010XX was described as “the largest teacher pay raise in the history of the state.”
Fallin has said legislators are only able to do what the budget allows, given there are other needs, such as corrections and health and human services.
For weeks, Oklahoma teachers considered a walkout over what they say is their breaking point over pay and education funding.
The state ranks 49th in the nation in teacher salaries, according to the National Education Association, in a list that includes Washington, D.C. Mississippi and South Dakota rank lower.