Breaking News – Oklahoma Teachers Are Leaving Due To Low Pay!!!
8:57 AM EST on January 23, 2018
Earlier this week, The Oklahoma Department of Education released the results of a survey seeking to find out why our state's teachers are leaving their profession. They did this because Oklahoma is a wealthy state with lavish budget surpluses that give us the opportunity to conduct surveys that reinforce what we already know.
Via News 9:
We know Oklahoma has a teacher shortage. But the Department of Education wanted to know exactly why. So, the Department commissioned the survey of teachers who are no longer teaching in the state.
The results are based on nearly 5,500 teachers under the age of 65 who responded.
The biggest reason they left - no surprise here: pay.
Before we continue, I should let you know that the rest of this article is sponsored by Captain Obvious with Hotels.com. Are you a teacher looking for a hotel room while scouting new places to live? Then we'd encourage you to check out the deals at Hotels.com. It's the obvious choice!
Seriously, this survey seems like a waste of time. It would be like surveying people who eat Taco Bell why they need to go the bathroom.
When asked in an open-ended question why they left the profession, 20% said it was because of the pay, with another 14% who said they had a better opportunity, which the Department of Education says is likely related to pay, as is the 19% who said they moved to another state.
Sixteen percent said they left teaching for personal reasons, 6% said leadership and regulations was the reason for leaving, and another 6% said they quit teaching because they don't feel valued or respected.
Yeah, I question the results of this survey a bit. I figured at least 3% - 5% of teachers would have responded that they're no longer allowed to be within 1,000 feet of a school due to an inappropriate relationship with a student. They must have lost their survey cards in the prison mail.
But the big take away may be how many teachers who left the profession say they would come back if they would get a pay raise.
“We have 30,000 educators who are paying to keep their certification active in Oklahoma but they are not teaching in an Oklahoma School,” said Oklahoma State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister.
According to the survey, nearly half of younger teachers and 31% overall, would return to the classroom if pay was better. Do the math, and that's 7,000 to 8,000 teachers that would be willing to return to the classroom.
That sounds like a good plan, but let's not forget about all the non-credentialed, emergency-certified teachers we currently have teaching students in Oklahoma schools. What will happen to them if all the degreed, certified teachers come back? Will their old jobs in the food service industry still be waiting for them? Can we turn them into teacher's aids or cafeteria workers? These are questions that must be answered.
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