Report: Approximately 30K Oklahoma educators left profession over past six years 

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OKLAHOMA CITY – A new report is shedding light on just how many Oklahoma teachers have left the profession over the past six years.

According to the 2018 Oklahoma Educator Supply & Demand Report, the percentage of Oklahoma educators leaving the profession has increased over the past six years to approximately 30,000.

The departure represents an average of 10 percent of Oklahoma’s teacher workforce – compared to the national attrition rate of 7.7 percent.

Part of the report outlines that between 2012-13 and 2016-17, nearly 82 percent of beginning educators taught after one year, with only 53.9 percent of new educators still teaching after five years.

After one year, those with an emergency certificate show the lowest retention rate at 73.6 percent.

The report states currently, Oklahoma’s educator turnover rate, which includes those leaving the profession and those moving from sites/districts to another, is 23.6 percent annually. This is an increase in recent years from 21 percent.

And, over the past several years, the number of college graduates who earned an education degree has decreased.

Last year, former Governor Mary Fallin signed a bill that raises teachers’ salaries by an average of $6,100. It also gave $1,250 raises for support staff and adds $50 million in education funding.

Although the bill almost reached the salary goal, organizers said it did little to restore education funding that has been cut for nearly a decade.

The report says it is unclear if the raise will reverse Oklahoma’s teacher shortage, and if it does, how much. The report states teacher compensation is a key factor in recruitment and retention.

For the 2018-19 school year, there was an all-time high for emergency certifications – 2,915. In 2012, there were 32 approved emergency certifications.

State law requires that the report be updated every three years.

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