OKLAHOMA CITY – Thousands of Oklahoma parents, teachers, and students gathered at the Oklahoma State Capitol for an education rally, hoping for a brighter future.
The group is asking lawmakers for solutions to the statewide teacher shortage and to curb the amount of time and money spent on state mandated student testing.
Rally organizers want lawmakers to adopt a long-term plan to improve teacher compensation and focus on policies that strengthen the teacher pipeline.
Rally participants will meet with legislators in the morning.
Superintendent Joy Hofmeister is promoting a five-year plan to increase teacher pay and time on instruction.
Rally organizers hope lawmakers will support Hofmeister’s plan and other potential solutions for the teacher shortage, including:
- Establishing policies/incentives to recruit students into colleges of education.
- Streamlining the certification process for out-of-state teachers who are highly qualified and want to teach in Oklahoma.
- Easing financial restrictions for retirees who want to return to the classroom.
- Establishing policies to support new educators in their first three years of teaching.
Last year’s rally for education drew more than 30,000 people.