Emergency Teaching Certificate Numbers Continue Growth

On Thursday, the state Board of Education will consider approving 107 emergency teaching certificates. If approved, Oklahoma will have more than 1,000 people teaching with emergency certificates for the second straight year.

A few things to consider:

      • Nearly half of the 926 emergency certificates approved to date are for early childhood and elementary education. The same was true last year.
      • The shortage persists despite districts reporting that they have cut more than 2,000 teaching positions in the last two years and are offering fewer courses, particularly at the high school level. (Read more results from our August survey of school districts).
      • The need for emergency certificates is widespread – urban, suburban and rural districts have asked for and received emergency certificates. (See the map below.)

Emergency Teaching Certificates *Pending board approval

Here are a few other teacher shortage facts culled from a study OSSBA helped commission last year and the Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education.

      • 11 out of every 100 Oklahoma teachers leave the state or the profession every year.
      • 17% of new teachers in Oklahoma leave the state or the profession after their first year.
      • 10% of Oklahoma teachers with a decade of experience leave the state or profession every year.
      • Oklahoma is replacing experienced teachers who leave with teachers who are far less experienced.
      • Between 2005-2006 and 2013-2014, Oklahoma had a 24 percent decline in the number of students completing teacher preparation programs. Research has projected that it will further decline 22 percent between 2013-14 and 2018-19. (Student enrollment is projected to continue increasing).
      • Oklahoma is not producing enough foreign language, math or science teachers to replace those who are leaving.
      • The projected demand for teachers in Oklahoma will continue to outpace the supply.
      • Oklahoma has significant competition from the private sector and from surrounding states.
      • A high percentage of out-of-state students (76%) who completed teacher preparation programs in Oklahoma in recent years never worked in Oklahoma’s public schools.

Each pinmark on the interactive map below represents an emergency certificate granted either for last school year (green) or this school year to date (blue).

–Christy Watson