Record Number of Emergency Teachers Certified in Oklahoma
The Oklahoma State Board of Education has approved a record number of certificates for emergency teachers to fill vacancies.
The board has approved 1,082 certificates this school year, up from 1,063 the previous year and more than double the 505 approved during the 2014-15 school year.
The greatest number of certificates are for elementary, early childhood, science and math teachers. An estimated 52,000 students are being taught by an emergency certified teacher.
A task force is recommending several ways to address the teacher shortage, but task force member Debra Welch told The Oklahoman that she believes the best idea is to increase teacher pay.
A teacher pay raise has been mentioned as a topic for the coming legislative session, but the state faces a nearly $900 million budget shortfall.