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Oklahoma approves nearly 900 emergency teacher certificates

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Board of Education has approved nearly 900 emergency teaching certificates so far this year and likely will be required to approve more.

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

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister tells the Tulsa World that more than 600 emergency certificates were approved Thursday. That’s compared to the more than 300 approved in July 2016.

The certificates allow individuals to teach before completing the education or training requirements for regular or alternative certification.

School superintendents must confirm with the state that no candidates are available to fill a position before hiring someone who needs an emergency certificate.