A new survey shows what many state leaders feared: Oklahoma’s teacher shortage is getting worse.
As of August 1, there were still 500 unfilled teaching positions across the state. That's according to a survey conducted by the Oklahoma State School Boards Association.
Shawn Hime, the Executive Director of the OSSBA, says his agency talked to more than 300 school districts in order to complete the survey.
"Far more schools said that they were going to have to use emergency certificates. Far more schools said they were having to raise class sizes, and more schools said they were gonna have to eliminate courses or positions just because they could not find a teacher."
Hime says schools have eliminated nearly 500 teaching positions since last year.
In order to turn the situation around, Hime says lawmakers need to come up with a long-term funding plan for teacher pay raises, and education in general.