Charities Try to Help Oklahoma Teachers Survive Pay Collapse

School teachers in Oklahoma are among the most visible victims of the state’s seemingly endless budget problems, with some of the lowest salaries in the nation, ballooning class sizes and worsening job conditions.

Increasingly, charities are trying to help. Habitat for Humanity has built houses for two Tulsa teachers who couldn’t afford one, and taken applications from a dozen more. A Tulsa church is providing meals periodically to teachers at a nearby school.

Teachers haven’t had a pay hike in a decade. A 10-year veteran teacher who is single would make little enough that her children would qualify for reduced-price school lunches.

Overall, there are about 1,500 fewer teachers in Oklahoma than in 2010, according to data from the Oklahoma State School Boards Association.

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