Morning Bell: Teacher turnover 'hurts children more than anyone'
Good Wednesday morning. Positive Tomorrows is Oklahoma City's only school for homeless kids, and this week it celebrated the ground breaking of a new 36,000-square-foot facility. About 75 people attended the Tuesday celebration, including donors who helped the school reach its $10.2 million fundraising goal.
Filling teacher positions
While most teachers are off (or working second jobs) during the summer break, districts across the state are scrambling to fill open teaching positions.
Tulsa Public Schools needs 339 teachers for next year and is still waiting to hear from half of its teachers about whether they will be back, reports the Tulsa World.
“It (turnover) is a real problem, and it is a perfect example of how people who are working against public education in Oklahoma are having a huge negative effect," said Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association Vice President Shawna Mott-Wright. "What irks me the most is that it hurts children more than anyone."
In Edmond, as many as 100 teachers are needed and the school board recently allowed teachers to enroll their own students in Edmond schools, even if they don't live in the district, as an incentive to find more applicants.
"Even if a huge pay increase is approved for teachers, it will probably take the colleges four to seven years to graduate the number of teachers needed,” said Randy Decker, Edmond's chief human resources officer.
Are you a school district administrator scrambling to hire more teachers? How does this summer compare to last year? Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, I'd love to hear about it.
Ed groups warn of delaying pay raise
As the Oklahoma Supreme Court heard arguments this week about the petition to repeal the recent tax hikes to fund teacher pay raises, a group of educators is warning that delaying or preventing teacher pay raises “could likely cause public schools to shut down again," reports The Oklahoman's Chris Casteel.
Allowing a repeal of the teacher pay raise bill or allowing it to take effect without the revenue needed “will essentially place our state's public education system in crisis mode, both practically and constitutionally,” the Association of Professional Oklahoma Educators warned in written arguments to the high court.
Looking for a new identity
Oklahoma City Public Schools is in search of a new identity, and is moving forward with plans to "refresh" its brand, district officials said Monday night.
The process is expected to take six months to complete and is tied to the renovation of 615 N Classen, where the district's administrative offices will be relocated in late 2019 or early 2020, and a facilities assessment and demographic study that is underway, reports The Oklahoman's Tim Willert.
The district is also adding a new leader. Sean McDaniel officially becomes superintendent on July 1.
Chief Operating Officer Scott Randall called a comprehensive rebranding of the district — Oklahoma's largest — a "reflection of our optimism as a district and what we can accomplish."