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State Board Of Education Approves Supt. Walters' Budget


The Oklahoma State Board of Education unanimously approved State Superintendent Ryan Walters' budget during a meeting Thursday.

The Thursday meeting came after a contentious meeting earlier in the week, contention caused by confusion over which budget Walters was expected to present. The newly elected superintendent thought he was being asked to present his predecessor's budget to start.

State Rep. Mark McBride (R-Moore) explained that "he was asked to present the aspects of (the budget) he agreed with."

Walters said he has worked with leaders from other states to create an "Oklahoma-unique plan" that will include an incentive-based pay raise for teachers -- the biggest, most comprehensive reading package in the country, and a parent-choice initiative."

Walters requested $150 million for teacher-incentive pay, down from the $309.5 million request by Hofmeister, with incentives ranging from $2,500 to $10,000. The incentives would be based on Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (TLE) rating and professional learning hours completed toward Professional Learning (PL) Focus.

Oklahoma Education Association President Katherine Bishop released the following statement:

What Is In Ryan Walters' New Education Budget Approved By The Oklahoma State Board of Education?

In the newly approved budget proposed by State Superintendent Ryan Walters $59.5 million will be cut from the overall education budget with allocation for teacher pay being cut nearly in half. Below is a rundown of the changes.

Budget Change Summary

Teacher Pay

Previous request: $309,568,875

Current request: $150,000,000

Net change: ($159,568,875)

Student Proficiency - New line item

Current request: $100,000,000

Total Budget Request

Previous request: $3,571,730,049

Current request: $3,512,161,174

Net change: ($59,568,875)

Walters will present it to the state House and Senate next week.

We will add live updates to the top of this story, as warranted, throughout the meeting.

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