Budget & Tax , Education
Trent England | March 13, 2018
The price tag on OEA's demands
When the teachers union released its spending demands last week, two things were missing. One was any plan to find the resources, either in other parts of government or through tax increases. The other was the total cost.
The Oklahoma Education Association’s spreadsheet left out the full cost of the union’s demands, but the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs has filled in the details. As you can see below, by the third year (fiscal year 2021) the price tag would be $1.4 billion.
Another data point often left out is how Oklahoma teacher salaries really compare to other states. This author can attest, after living on both the West and East Costs, to just how much farther a dollar stretches in Oklahoma. Every recent analysis shows that Oklahoma teacher pay jumps to between 30th and 35th in the nation once cost of living is considered.
- 1889 Institute’s “Teacher Pay: Facts to Consider”
- EdSurge’s “Where Do U.S. Teacher Salaries Really Go the Furthest?”
- Kahler Financial’s “Comparison of Teacher Salaries Adjusted for Purchasing Power”
The recent teacher walk out in West Virginia is said to have inspired Oklahoma activists. When you consider the actual value of teacher pay in those states, it turns out that West Virginia teachers were simply asking to be brought up to about the level where Oklahoma teachers are already.
David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow
Trent England is the David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, where he previously served as executive vice president. He is also the founder and executive director of Save Our States, which educates Americans about the importance of the Electoral College. England is a producer of the feature-length documentary “Safeguard: An Electoral College Story.” He has appeared three times on Fox & Friends and is a frequent guest on media programs from coast to coast. He is the author of Why We Must Defend the Electoral College and a contributor to The Heritage Guide to the Constitution and One Nation Under Arrest: How Crazy Laws, Rogue Prosecutors, and Activist Judges Threaten Your Liberty. His writing has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Times, Hillsdale College's Imprimis speech digest, and other publications. Trent formerly hosted morning drive-time radio in Oklahoma City and has filled for various radio hosts including Ben Shapiro. A former legal policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, he holds a law degree from The George Mason University School of Law and a bachelor of arts in government from Claremont McKenna College.