By KFOR-TV AND K. QUERRY
MIDWEST CITY, Okla. – Thousands of teachers who are currently working in Oklahoma classrooms didn’t start out their careers hoping to end up in a local school.
Instead, they decided to leave their previous careers to become emergency-certified teachers as the state experienced a teacher shortage.
While thousands of emergency-certified teachers have stepped in to fill the need, experts say there is still room to grow.
In December, the Oklahoma State School Boards Association said nearly 5,000 more teachers were needed across Oklahoma to match the average student-teacher ratio in the region.
El Reno Public Schools Superintendent Craig McVay told News 4 that the student-teacher ratio in his district is just below the regional average at 13.3 students per certified teacher. According to him, part of that is due to the 19 emergency-certified teachers the district has this school year.
“We would be far greater if we had to just rely on traditionally certified staff,” McVay said. “We’re fully staffed right now. We expect that will change over the holidays. We have a couple of teachers that will be out having babies, so we’ll be a little shorthanded there.”