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30,000 Oklahoma Teachers Have Left Profession In Six Years, Report Says

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange
Teachers march at the Oklahoma capitol during the teacher walkout in April 2018.

A new report from the Oklahoma State Department of Education shows 30,000 teachers have left the profession over the past six years.

The report seeks to explain what’s driving the state’s persistent teacher shortage while offering the agency’s recommendations on how to stem it.

The report suggests compensation is a key factor in recruiting and retaining teachers. But two thirds of surveyed teachers who recently quit, say it’s going to take more than a raise to get them to return to the classroom.

Eighty percent of teachers surveyed said the work environment at public schools deteriorated between their first and last years — more than half said it had deteriorated a great deal.

In the report, State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister says last year’s teacher pay raise was a step in the right direction, but increasing classroom funding is now needed to improve conditions for teachers and reverse the shortage.

Emily Wendler was KOSU's education reporter from 2015 to 2019.
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