From a Talk Radio 1170 listener.
It's interesting that the only answer to fixing our local and state problems seems to be to raise taxes. But how many people have looked into the budgets of these agency's to see how they are spending the tax dollars they currently get?
TWO WAYS TO GIVE TEACHERS A PAY RAISE WITHOUT RAISING TAXES
Number 1: How many teachers who want a pay raise can tell you how much in carry over dollars their district forwards each year?
Two years ago Owasso Public Schools had $3.7 million in carry over funds...money they did not spend during the current fiscal year and transferred over to the following years budget. If Owasso schools used half of that amount ($1.85 million) they could give 370 teachers a $5,000 yearly pay raise.
Number 2: Currently there is a new bill being presented in OKC to answer the statewide pay raise for teachers. HB3440. The bill’s author, an auditor by profession, is State Representative Tom Gann -Dist. 8 Inola.
by LINDA MURPHY·TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2018
Oklahoma Teachers - You can have a raise from School Land Revenues! This is NOT A TAX INCREASE. Call your Representative and ask them to VOTE YES on HB 3440! (see link with with contact info. below)
Here are some details -- The Commissioners of the Land Office only gave education about 45% of the available revenues from school land holdings in 2017 according to the official report.
There is no legal requirement for the Commissioners to put ANY of the revenue made from school lands into the Permanent fund. That Permanent fund which will be held harmless is now 2.4 billion dollars. Why should additional revenue which by law is intended to go directly to education go instead into the huge Permanent fund to grow that account?
From Oklahoma’s CAFR -Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (see pdf below)
Land Office Revenues = $322,784,000.00
Total distribution to Common Ed, Higher Ed and Public buildings = $152,808,000.00
Balance of revenue not distributed to education = $169,976,000.00
This is a major breakthrough! Oklahoma has a wealth of money for education in school land revenues and it should be used now for teacher pay raises! That is exactly what HB 3440 does. You can read it yourself in the link below.
The bill’s author, an auditor by profession, is State Representative Tom Gann -Dist. 8 Inola. Gann says: "My proposed bill, HB 3440 which directs the CLO to provide more money for a teacher pay raise from revenues generated from the School Land Fund is gaining support.
From the Oklahoma Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports for the past 10 years, the School Land Fund balance has increased 36%. For FYE 2017 the fund is currently at $2.4 Billion and generated $322,000,000.00 in revenue FYE 2017.
It is estimated by the CLO, the fund could be at $2.7 Billion by year end. The CLO already distributes money to schools and my bill just directs them to provide more for teachers.
From the Commissioners of the Land Office 2015-2017 annual reports their mission statement reads, “Common schools do not have any restrictions on how the Land Office dollars are used, and may be used for everything from teachers’ salaries to bus maintenance and expense.”
Comprehensive Annual Financial Report 2017 (see chart on page 54) -- https://www.ok.gov/OSF/documents/cafr2017.pdf [l.facebook.com]
HB 3440 -- School Land Revenue -- for Teacher Pay Raise http://www.oklegislature.gov/BillInfo.aspx?Bill=HB3440&Session=1800&Tab=0