Summary of Policy Considerations and Agency Recommendations
The Legislature may consider the following policy changes: •Amend statute to require OSDE to generate and provide the Educator Supply and Demand report annually to show specific teacher shortages by region, county, school districts and academic subjects. (70 O.S. § 6-21)
- Create a fund that targets specific academic subject areas or regional shortages in the State’s teacher workforce. Funds would be directed towards school districts that show critical need for certain teaching positions; districts would use the additional funds to incentivize individuals to fill hard-to staff positions.
- Require the Oklahoma State Department of Education in coordination with the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education to develop an annual report card on the effectiveness of teacher training programs in meeting the State’s workforce demands for educators, districts and specific subject areas.
- Require a biennial comprehensive teacher salary report from the Oklahoma State Department of Education with the report to include national and regional comparisons, cost-of-living differences and salary information by local school districts.
- Amend the definition of a teacher in statute to only include a classroom teacher with a valid certificate issued by and in accordance with the rules of the State Board of Education or the rules of the State Board of Career and Technology Education. Include only teachers with Jobs Code 210 and 213 under definition of a teacher. (70 O.S. § 1-116)
The Oklahoma State Department of Education should:
- Connect teacher certification program supply data to district-level demand data to identify areas of shortage and surplus.
- Work collaboratively with the State Regents to set parameters around the number of candidates to be prepared and trained in each certification area based on existing and predicted need.
- Develop cooperative agreements with the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) and surrounding state workforce agencies to track Oklahoma teachers in the workforce outside of Oklahoma. This data could identify motives or other underlying trends that could assist Oklahoma’s workforce and the State Legislature in retaining educators.
- Enhance the Oklahoma teacher exit survey to allow for further information and data to be collected from outgoing educators.?
Make teacher mobility data at the school district level publicly available.
- Conduct a follow up interview with teachers who have left the profession a year after departure to provide further insight into teacher attrition.
- Adopt NCES’ follow-up survey to obtain activity or occupational data for teachers who leave the position of a K-12 teacher and obtain current teaching assignment information to include state of residence, salary and teaching assignment for those who are still teaching.
- Promote and encourage local school districts to apply for the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher and School Leader Incentive Program.
- Provide cost-of-living calculations in future analysis and reports regarding teacher compensation.
- Incorporate comparable wage index (CWI) calculations into local school district salaries for future analysis and reporting similar to the approach taken by Arkansas, Colorado and Texas’ analyzing salaries.
- Include State and school district salaries’ real buying power on recruiting and marketing materials for teacher candidates and students.