Attracting enough teachers to fill all of Tulsa Public Schools' job vacancies has been a problem for the school system, but by bringing in some outside help, they are hoping to change that.
One of their biggest current challenges for TPS, has nothing to do with the students. The school system has been facing fewer teaching applicants and too many vacant teaching positions - 32, to be exact. While that may not sound like many, Ken Calhoun with Tulsa Public Schools says, it has a huge impact. "It's very stressful for our current teachers because of that shortfall. They're having to make up that work, besides the work that they would normally do."
So, why can't one of the state's largest school systems attract teachers? "The shallow answer is, obviously, 'pay,'" Calhoun said, adding that it is a statewide problem, with Oklahoma not putting out enough teachers.
He also says, competition with nearby states - where educators are paid more - makes a big difference. "We've tried to recruit from southwest - or the southern part of the state and, quite frankly, those students down there tell us that when they're graduating, they're going to Texas, because they can drive a short distance and get $10,000 more, annual pay."
Now, the district is enlisting the help of the New Teacher Project, a national group that is focused on assisting districts with recruiting. "They'll come in and they'll provide us with that assistance and that guidance - even help us increase our applicant pools," Calhoun said. "We're an exciting district, we've got a lot of things that we're looking to improve [with] our programs and processes, and we believe that we'll stay a front-runner in the state."
For information on employment with Tulsa Public Schools, click the link below.
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