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Oklahoma sets record for emergency teaching certifications...again

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Oklahoma broke its annual record for emergency teaching certifications, and there’s still one more month to go.

The Oklahoma State Board of Education met Thursday and approved the latest batch of certifications. As of this November, this year’s emergency certification list totals 3,690, which is 74 more educators than all of last year. The biggest share of those certifications went to elementary education, which made up nearly a thousand of them.

Emergency certifications last for one year and can be renewed twice. They’re for educators who haven’t yet met the state’s teaching qualifications but who do hold a bachelor’s degree.

This school year started with a record number of teaching vacancies, in part fueled by the nearly 2,000 teachers who retired this summer. Districts hope the legislature’s move this spring to offer nearly $28,000 in new teacher incentives will help bridge the ever-widening gap.

The next round of emergency certified educators will be up for approval at the State Board’s Dec. 15 meeting.

StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership of Oklahoma’s public radio stations which relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.

Beth reports on education topics for StateImpact Oklahoma.
StateImpact Oklahoma reports on education, health, environment, and the intersection of government and everyday Oklahomans. It's a reporting project and collaboration of KGOU, KOSU, KWGS and KCCU, with broadcasts heard on NPR Member stations.
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