Greetings Senator Floyd,
I am a middle school and business owner. I teach middle school computing at Sequoyah Middle School in Edmond and I own a local glassblowing studio near MidTown in OKC.
There has been a lot of discussion about teacher pay lately. Each year teacher receive a nominal step increase. This is the only raise I have received in over eight years. I believe one reason Oklahoma is having a difficult time in hiring and retaining teachers is the lack of a viable raise to keep up with inflation and cost of living.
Pretend for a moment you were interviewing or conducting an interview for a job. At the end the candidate can ask questions.
Q1) How often will I receive a raise and how much will it be?
A1) You should receive about a 1% increase in pay each year.
Q2) How much will my yearly bonus be?
A2) We do not pay a bonus.
Q3) What about health care?
A3) We do pay for a nice Insurance plan. The copay is $50 and the deductible is around $1000. If you add additional people on your plan expect it to be about $450 a month.
Q4) What are my prospects for advancement?
A4) There is no advancement within our company.
Q5) Many companies will help pay for an advanced degree. Do you offer any assistance for pursuing an advanced degree to help me in this profession?
A5) We highly encourage you to pursue a higher level of education but we will not assist you in that endeavor and the pay increase for having a Masters Degree over a Bachelors Degree is about $200.
Granted, it is the field of education. We know these things. But next to the real world it is a very unappealing scenario for job seekers.
I am attaching a copy of my most recent pay stub so you can see my take home pay each month.
I do think there is a lot we can do to improve. Just let me know if you need any suggestions.