Oklahoma uses emergency certified teachers during shortage

OKLAHOMA -Oklahoma schools have grown increasingly reliant on filling teacher vacancies with emergency certified teachers amid a statewide shortage of teachers.

The Tulsa World reports that the state School Board of Education approved more than 220 emergency certificates Thursday for July.

The provisional licenses let individuals work as teachers before they complete the education or training requirements for regular or alternative certification. Teachers can use the licenses to teach for two academic years.

School superintendents must prove to the state that there aren’t any certified candidates who can fill a position before they can turn to someone with an emergency certificate.

Board member Bill Flanagan says between 2 percent to 3 percent of Oklahoma’s 42,000 teachers use emergency certificates.

The board considered nearly 80 emergency certificates this time last year.