- Associated Press - Monday, January 26, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma’s newly elected Superintendent of Public Instruction is unveiling a new five-year plan to give Oklahoma teachers a $5,000 pay raise.

Republican Joy Hofmeister announced the plan on Monday, saying increased teacher pay is critically important in addressing a significant teacher shortage in Oklahoma.

The plan would increase teacher pay by $5,000 and add five days of instruction to the school year over the next five years.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and other Republican leaders have expressed support for teacher pay raises, but finding the revenue could be difficult with early projections showing an estimated $300 million less to spend on this year’s budget. The first year of the proposal would cost the state about $150 million.

A starting teacher in Oklahoma makes $31,600. The average salary is about $44,000.

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