Legislators have concerns about teacher pay hikes

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Two state legislators who oversee funding for common education in Oklahoma say they have concerns about state Superintendent Janet Barresi's proposal to fund $2,000 annual teacher raises from local district carry-over funds.

Republican Rep. Lee Denney and Sen. Jim Halligan both said Monday they support an effort to increase teacher pay, but that it would be difficult for the Legislature to come up with the $100 million needed to fund the plan each year.

Barresi reiterated her call on Monday for districts and school boards to fund the pay increase out of carry-over funds that totaled more than $710 million last year, although she conceded such raises wouldn't be mandatory.

Both Denney and Halligan say carry-over funding would not be an ideal source to continue funding the pay raises.

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