Oklahoma schools battle against substitute teacher shortage

Oklahoma school leaders are continuing the battle against the substitute teacher shortage.School leaders said many of the hundreds of teachers who were out sick last month are back in the classroom. However, the substitute teacher shortage is still an issue.>> Related: Substitute teachers expected to pay for background checks out of pocketOklahoma City Public Schools told KOCO 5 that the number of teachers calling in has slowed down drastically compared to last month. Since that executive order from Gov. Kevin Stitt that authorized state employees to volunteer, about 50 stepped in.”We’re in a lot better shape than we were four weeks ago,” said Brad Herzer of OKCPS.Last month, the school system shifted some classes to remote learning while some schools had to shut down.”A lot of school districts were having to close because of the lack of personnel in their schools,” Herzer said.>> Related: Oklahomans worried about state employee qualifications for substitute teachingThis week, the Oklahoma City metro’s largest district has seen a significant change.”When we were forced to go remote, we had around four hundred just under 450 staff members that were actively positive, which is significant and that number last Friday I think it was down to 22,” Herzer said. Mid-Del public schools told KOCO 5 that teacher and student absences have normalized but they’re still coming up short on daily substitute requests.So far, two state employees are in the process of getting background checks done to substitute there.>> Related: Proposed bills aim to address Oklahoma’s teacher shortage”That pattern has followed what we saw happen on the east coast and the other states with this dramatic rise in omicron, and then this dramatic fall with new cases per day,” said Dr. Dale Bratzler, the OU chief COVID-19 officer.

Oklahoma school leaders are continuing the battle against the substitute teacher shortage.

School leaders said many of the hundreds of teachers who were out sick last month are back in the classroom. However, the substitute teacher shortage is still an issue.

>> Related: Substitute teachers expected to pay for background checks out of pocket

Oklahoma City Public Schools told KOCO 5 that the number of teachers calling in has slowed down drastically compared to last month. Since that executive order from Gov. Kevin Stitt that authorized state employees to volunteer, about 50 stepped in.

“We’re in a lot better shape than we were four weeks ago,” said Brad Herzer of OKCPS.

Last month, the school system shifted some classes to remote learning while some schools had to shut down.

“A lot of school districts were having to close because of the lack of personnel in their schools,” Herzer said.

>> Related: Oklahomans worried about state employee qualifications for substitute teaching

This week, the Oklahoma City metro’s largest district has seen a significant change.

“When we were forced to go remote, we had around four hundred just under 450 staff members that were actively positive, which is significant and that number last Friday I think it was down to 22,” Herzer said.

Mid-Del public schools told KOCO 5 that teacher and student absences have normalized but they’re still coming up short on daily substitute requests.

So far, two state employees are in the process of getting background checks done to substitute there.

>> Related: Proposed bills aim to address Oklahoma’s teacher shortage

“That pattern has followed what we saw happen on the east coast and the other states with this dramatic rise in omicron, and then this dramatic fall with new cases per day,” said Dr. Dale Bratzler, the OU chief COVID-19 officer.

https://www.koco.com/article/oklahoma-school-battle-substitute-teacher-shortage/39079991

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