Teacher Shortage Task Force identifies progress in combating statewide crisis

OKLAHOMA CITY (Sept. 13, 2018) – The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) has released an updated report from the Teacher Shortage Task Force that State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister originally convened in 2015 to tackle the growing teacher shortage crisis.

While acknowledging the impact of the teacher pay increase that took effect Aug. 1, the report asserts a need for continued efforts to recruit, retain and reward educators amid a persistent workforce shortage.

However, said Hofmeister, the conversation must also pivot to a new focus.

“The Teacher Shortage Task Force has done incredible work, having already made 40 recommendations for multiple solutions to a crisis affecting more than 100,000 Oklahoma schoolchildren. Now that Oklahoma teachers have achieved a critical first step – a meaningful increase in their take-home pay – we must broaden our perspective to show we value teachers in other ways, including with increased, and sustainable, funding for the classroom and through building a culture of respect for all professionals to grow and flourish,” she said. “The task force report indicates a number of methods and strategies to facilitate that culture shift.”

Included in the report are measures of progress from previous task force recommendations to that end. They include:

  • Grants
  • Teacher externships
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Positive messaging campaigns
  • A survey of more than 32,000 teachers who hold active certification but are no longer in the classroom
  • Supports for emergency-certified teachers

To read the Teacher Shortage Task Force updated report, click here

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Last updated on September 13, 2018