20% of Oklahoma Teachers Are Leaving Their Jobs
Ironically, heading into a year where Oklahoma actually raised education spending, a staggering 1 in 5 teachers polled said they were already on their way out of their positions. A slightly smaller percentage of these teachers said they were currently seeking other jobs either in different industries or educational positions in other states. Oklahoma is headed for a schooling disaster.
It really shouldn't be a surprise, education budgets in Oklahoma have been cut time and time again. Worse yet, our state politicians keep selling us on programs that they keep claiming "will benefit education" if we vote them into existence, the same way Lawton politicians said the 2020 CIP would mean new roads and instead purchased the mall.
Just off the top of my head, I remember OK politicians saying that legalizing tattoo shops would benefit the educational budget... If we vote to legalize an Oklahoma lottery, those revenues will be spent on education... If we vote to raise tax revenues on tobacco, those monies will be spent on education... They said the same thing about medical marijuana.
I'd imagine anyone that has been around a lot longer than I can probably list off and detail countless other taxable programs that were initially meant to boost education spending but somehow found a home somewhere else in the government ledgers.
Is the current 2022 OK Education Budget boost too little too late? Are teachers finally able to remember all the times they've been over-promised and under-delivered? Does the blame remain firmly with lawmakers? Or are voters partly to blame for not getting involved enough? Could it be the oil and gas industries' massive tax cuts that are responsible for educational cuts? Lawmakers say oil and gas cuts make oil and gas more affordable, but we often pay whatever Wall Street sets the price at.
The problem we have now is, there have been too many hands in the metaphorical pie to determine exactly who is at fault when it comes to Oklahoma's educational failure... and if you look at the current state of politics and how we discuss such things, there's not much hope for resolve in the near future.
On the plus side, if the teacher shortage is bad enough, it might mean a teacher pay boom on the other side of it when the state government is forced to attract new educators.