Oklahoma lawmakers studying worsening teacher shortage

Three former teachers now serving as Oklahoma lawmakers are studying the state’s worsening teacher shortage to see what policy measures might be of help.

“The teacher pipeline is one of the critical issues we can address in the 2022 legislative session,” said Rep. John Waldron, D-Tulsa, who previously taught government at Booker T. Washington High School.

In an interim study he hosted last week, Waldron cited a September Tulsa World analysis which found summertime teacher retirements were up nearly 38 percent year-over-year.

According to data from the Teachers’ Retirement System, retirements the previous two summers were relatively level at 1,622 during the months of May through August in 2019 and 1,600 during the same peak retirement period in 2020.

During the same summer months this year, 2,205 Oklahoma teachers retired.

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