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Teacher shortage to greet Oklahoma City students when school opens in August

Between now and the start of school Aug. 4, Oklahoma City Public Schools is reaching out to retirees and recent college graduates to fill 148 teacher vacancies in the school district, including 35 special education teachers.
by Tim Willert Modified: July 22, 2014 at 6:00 pm •  Published: July 21, 2014
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photo - EXTERIOR: Thelma Parks Elementary school building.    Staff photo by David McDaniel
EXTERIOR: Thelma Parks Elementary school building. Staff photo by David McDaniel

Two elementary schools in the Oklahoma City district are facing critical teacher shortages as the start of school draws near, and that has district leaders reconsidering practices for recruiting, hiring and retaining teachers.

As of Monday, Thelma Parks Elementary was 53 percent staffed and Upper Greystone Elementary was 62 percent staffed. Three other schools are at 75 percent of staffing for teachers, according to district officials.

Rod McKinley, the district’s chief of human resources, attributed the shortages — 11 schools are 80 percent staffed — to prinicpals he said are waiting too long to fill vacancies.

“Everybody agrees that the most important thing is to have qualified, inspired principals at each location ... to have a highly qualified teacher in every single classroom regardless of location, regardless of school,” McKinley told school board members Monday night. “That is our goal, and that is what we’re going to work on.”

Between now and the start of school Aug. 4, the district is reaching out to retirees and recent college graduates to fill 148 vacancies in the district, including 35 special education teachers.

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by Tim Willert
Education Reporter
Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers education. Prior to moving to Oklahoma in June 2011, he was as an editor for FOXSports.com in Century City, Calif., and reported on courts for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and...
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We need to be proactive. We’ve just got to change the process we have right now, because we can see that it’s just not working.”

Rod McKinley,
Oklahoma City district’s chief of human resources

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