Oklahoma expected to hit record-setting number of emergency certifications for teachers

TULSA, Okla. – Oklahoma is expected to set a new record with the number of emergency certifications for teachers this year.

According to the Tulsa World, the Oklahoma State Department of Education said about 915 more emergency certifications are expected to be approved at an Oklahoma State Board of Education meeting this week.

1,237 emergency certifications were approved in the first two months of hiring for the 2018-19 school year.

Emergency teaching certifications issued in the state since 2011:

  • 2011-12: 32
  • 2012-13: 98
  • 2013-14: 189
  • 2014-15: 506
  • 2015-16: 1,063
  • 2016-17: 1,160
  • 2017-18: 1,975
  • As of July; 2018-19 to date: 1,237

Steffie Corcoran, spokeswoman for the OSDE, said two weeks ago they were expecting the number of certifications in August to be around the same as last year – 574 – but say they saw a last-minute surge in districts who desperately need to filled their teaching vacancies.

“We are now experiencing the full weight of a crisis we have been warning of for the past three years,” said State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister. “It is no surprise, and our children have paid the price of years of inaction which cannot be immediately reversed.”

Emergency certifications allow individuals who have not completed the education or training requirements to be employed as teachers.