TPS Teachers to All Be Certified
Superintendent Deborah A. Gist announced the Tulsa Public Schools will open with a certified teacher in each classroom on the first day of school, Aug. 20, 2015. Given the severe teacher shortage in Oklahoma, TPS took extreme measures to ensure that every child has a certified teacher in every classroom when school opens next week.
“I made a commitment to the Tulsa Public Schools board – and to every student – that we would start the first day of school with a teacher in every classroom,” said Superintendent Gist. “I am very excited to report that we are keeping that commitment. Teachers change the world every single day and that starts on day one. Hiring has been our number one priority this summer, and Team TPS worked diligently to recruit, hire and place great educators to serve our students and families.”
In recent years, it has grown increasingly difficult for Oklahoma districts to find enough certified teachers to fill available positions. The state has added 40,000 more public school students than in 2010, yet had 1,000 fewer teachers in Oklahoma last year. In 2014-15, Tulsa Public Schools started the year with more than 80 teacher vacancies. The district currently has about 2,900 certified teaching positions.
“The crisis is not over,” said Superintendent Gist. “While we have taken measures to launch the year fully staffed, I don't want our community to lose sight of the challenge we face. The future of Tulsa and our state is intricately connected to the quality of education we provide to each child. Talented teachers always have been and will continue to be at the heart of great schools. Decisive action must be taken to elevate the teaching profession, compensate our teachers fairly and reduce churn in our schools.”