Oklahoma State Schools Superintendent Janet Barresi released a statement Saturday afternoon asking that all Oklahoma school teachers get $2,000 raises.
Barresi spoke to a group of administrators and school board members at a Saturday event hosted by the Oklahoma State School Boards Association.
She says that the raises could be provided through surplus funds, instead of asking for increased funding from the state.
Barresi says that raises need to be provided, pointing to the massive teacher shortage facing Oklahoma.
"Our shortage is quality teachers....Aside from parents, teachers are the single most important factor in a child's success."
Barresi's plan is to move less than 10 percent of Oklahoma schools' carryover money - more than $700 million- to teacher pay.
She also wants individual school superintendents and school boards to redirect 2 percent of money currently going to administrative costs to be redirected to teacher pay.
According to Barresi's statement, Oklahoma schools have a record amount of money in its carryover account that is unused, despite the recent recession.
Barresi challenged her audience by saying, "With a $2,000 raise, we will see Oklahoma teacher pay jump past numerous states....We'll also cut by more than half our gap with Texas."
Currently, teachers in Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas make more money that Oklahoma teachers.