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Five Things to Know About the Teacher Shortage

In Oklahoma, 30,000 teachers have left the profession in the past six years. That’s the eye-popping statistic that stands out in the latest Oklahoma Teacher Supply and Demand report, and it represents a loss of an average of 10 percent of the state’s teaching workforcecompared to a national average of 7.7 percent attrition.

It’s been nearly one year since teachers descended on the Capitol en masse, shuttering schools across the state in a quest to secure more funding for education.  The report’s findings echo those teachers’ frustrations. Classes are larger, teachers are less experienced, and hiring is a struggle.

A statewide pay increase went into effect this year, giving all teachers a boost of an average of $6,100, and the Legislature seems likely to pass an additional $1,500 raise this legislative session.  But that only addresses one slice of the teacher shortage; there are other reasons teachers are leaving the profession or not pursuing it to begin with.



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