OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla._Oklahoma House Bill 2642 is being supported by teachers and many legislators since it would bring $575 million to education.
State Representative Joe Dorman is one of thousands who was at the state capitol Monday and are in support of House Bill 2642. The bill recently passed the House of Representatives and is now headed to the State Senate. If successful, it would provide $575 million over the span of ten years.
The money would go directly to the school funding formula instead of through the Department of Education. However, that is contingent on the state's economy. It requires an annual 1% growth in the economy, equal to around $60 million, which gives $57.5 million to education a year.
Signs of support from the 35,000 ralliers could be seen everywhere for the bill. Dorman says these teachers and parents mean business.
"This shows the legislators and the governor that teachers are serious, that they want to be treated with respect, that they should not be last in the nation for per pupil spending, they should not be in the bottom of teachers pay," said Representative Dorman.
The Secretary for Education and Workforce, Robert Sommers, says the governor is taking teachers and education serious by signing a budget bill last year that included $120 million for education and a $50 million proposal this year.
"A $50 million increase in a single entity, common education, at the same time we face a $190 million budget short fall, and made 5% across the board cuts in almost every other agency, I think speaks volumes of the governor's commitment and this administration supporting common education," said Secretary Sommers.
But in the end, Representative Dorman isn't buying it, and believes the administration is dragging their feet.
"That funding has to come immediately. By state law, education funding is supposed to come by April 1st, but this legislature and this governor will not meet that deadline," said Representative Dorman.
The fate of the bill is now in the hands of the Senate, and if approved will go to the governor for her signing.