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Emergency Teaching Certification Requests Skyrocket

KWGS News File Photo

Oklahoma’s teacher shortage is not easing. The State Board of Education today approved double-the-number of emergency teaching certificates that it did this month last year. The problem comes about as local schools scramble to put a teacher in every classroom.

State School Superintendent Joy Hofmeister recommended 631 emergency certifications today. In July of last year number was 304. Today the board okayed 631 requests.               

Hofmeister fears the problem will be even worse next month because August is usually the biggest month for the certifications. Of those certified today, only 27% had some sort of teaching background.

Teachers are fleeing the classroom in Oklahoma because of low pay. Hit particularly hard are border towns, where teachers can make $10,000 to $20,000 more a year, just by crossing the border out of Oklahoma.