Oklahoma Issues 631 Additional Emergency Teaching Certifications

Jul 28, 2017

The State Board of Education approved 631 emergency teaching certifications at Thursday’s board meeting, which is nearly double what the board had approved at this time last year. It brings the total number of emergency certifications to 850 for the 2017-18 school year.

Compare that to last July, when the board had issued a total of 381 emergency teaching certifications, a record number at the time.

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister says August is typically when most of the requests for emergency certifications come in, so the number is expected to grow.

"The need is great, and it’s not getting better."

Schools ask for permission to hire emergency certified teachers after proving they could not find anyone with traditional qualifications.

But not all emergency certified teachers lack teaching experience. Some may be certified to teach English but are seeking an emergency certification for science. However, Superintendent Hofmeister says a majority of them have no background in education.

In other news, the state board approved a multi-million dollar testing contract with a company that has yet-to-be-named.

The un-named company will be responsible for administering the state English, math and science tests to grades three through eight.

By law, the state board cannot reveal the name of the testing company, or the price tag of the contract, until the Office of Management and Enterprise Services finalizes it. A representative from OMES said that will happen in the next few weeks.