Morning Bell: Lawmakers against teacher pay fall in runoff
Good Wednesday morning. State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister won the Republican runoff on Tuesday, putting her one step closer to getting a second term.
Hofmeister, 55, of Tulsa, advances to the Nov. 6 general election against Democrat John Cox and Independent Larry Huff.
"My focus stays right on kids, no matter who stands against me," said Hofmeister, who celebrated with supporters at a watch party in Oklahoma City.
Also on Tuesday, Republicans voted out six state House incumbents in what seems to be a clear rebuke of GOP legislators who voted against a tax increase to fund teacher pay raises. State Rep. Sean Roberts, R-Hominy, also voted against the tax bill but narrowly edged his opponent, former newspaper publisher Louise Redcorn.
At least nine Oklahoma school districts also had bonds approved by voters.
What states are doing to address teacher shortages
Teacher shortages are occurring across the country, and Oklahoma is not the only state looking for answers. Oklahoma Watch's Jennifer Palmer recently took a look at what other states are doing to combat their own teacher shortages, especially as Oklahoma hit a new record for emergency certified teachers. One strategy some states use is loan forgiveness programs, which recognize that future teachers incur debt in college that they may struggle to pay off after graduation. These programs are often similar to incentives used to recruit and retain medical professionals to fill needed positions.
Palmer's story also has a chart of emergency certified teachers by Oklahoma school district.
Would you want your kid to be a teacher?
A growing number of people say teacher salaries are too low and that they would not support their children entering the teaching profession, reports Education Week.
The PDK International poll on education, released yesterday, surveyed a random national sample of 1,042 adults, which included an oversample of 515 parents of school-aged children. PDK International, a professional association for educators, conducts an annual survey of American attitudes toward public schools. A research firm conducted the 2018 survey online during the first three weeks of May. (Some of this year's results—the findings on school safety—were already released in July.)
Superintendent announces health program
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister announced a project to improve health across the state, thanks to a $1.825 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reports Fox 25.
Hofmeister introduced "Project Get Fit!," which hopes to increase health and wellness for schoolchildren in Oklahoma, according to a release from the State Department of Education.
The project is designed to give students more access to nutrition, physical education opportunities and case management for students with chronic health conditions. Teachers will also benefit from the project, which will help them with professional development and "evidence-based" best practices to promote healthy schools.
That does it for today's Morning Bell. Have a great Wednesday!