What if the next generation of certified teachers were already in the classrooms?

To characterize that Oklahoma still has a teacher shortage problem today is an outdated talking point. We now have a clogged pipeline perpetuated by the lack of innovation within the education sector.

Our state’s elected officials have made great strides in recent years to address the root of the initial shortage by strengthening resources for teachers in Oklahoma’s workforce. Their most significant moves were increasing teacher salaries two years in a row, raising the overall public funding of common education to historic highs, and demonstrating stability in this funding by building out the state’s savings account.

These efforts should be sustained and advanced. Yet we are still faced with 2,600 emergency teachers as of August. Did more money not solve it?

What if the next generation of certified teachers were already in the classrooms? Across the state are more than 11,437 paraprofessionals and teacher assistants, many who have been in our classrooms for 10 or more years committed to the cause at an even lower pay scale.

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