Oklahoma already doesn’t have enough teachers and, after the Step Up Plan failed in the State House last Monday, it may get worse. Before the start of the school year, it was estimated that there were 800+ vacancies in schools statewide.
According to a recent SoonerPoll of teachers in the state, 34.4 percent of teachers strongly agreed that they have become more serious about stopping or retiring from teaching all together.
|1. Strongly agree||34.4%|
|2. Somewhat agree||24.4|
|3. Neutral/Don’t know||20.8|
|4. Somewhat disagree||8.2|
|5. Strongly disagree||12.2|
An almost equal number strongly agreed that they have become more serious about changing professions or pursuing another career.
|1. Strongly agree||32.8%|
|2. Somewhat agree||25.0|
|3. Neutral/Don’t know||18.2|
|4. Somewhat disagree||9.7|
|5. Strongly disagree||14.3|
And some are also seriously thinking about leaving the state to teach in other states.
|1. Strongly agree||32.4%|
|2. Somewhat agree||16.9|
|3. Neutral/Don’t know||19.4|
|4. Somewhat disagree||10.2|
|5. Strongly disagree||21.0|
Teachers were split on which one they would pursue first, but none of the choices are good for the state.
|1. Stop teaching or retire||25.0%|
|2. Change professions and pursue another career||32.6|
|3. Leave Oklahoma and teach in another state||32.4|
|4. Don’t know||10.0|
Additional analysis of the data shows that older, more experienced teachers were more likely to retire from teaching, middle-aged teachers were more likely to change professions, and younger teachers were more likely to leave the state and teach elsewhere.
“Without an increase in pay,” said Bill Shapard, founder of the SoonerPoll, “it’s a triple threat to the teaching profession in the state.”
About the Poll
SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, conducted the scientific online poll of 1,098 Oklahoma teachers.
The study was conducted online February 13-15, 2018 and respondents were selected at random among those with a teaching certificate in the state of Oklahoma and registered to vote. Teachers were identified by filtering out only teachers who were currently employed, retired, or looking for a teaching position in the state.
Weighting was not required for the study as the demographical profile of the sample was very similar to the profile of all teachers in the state.
The study has a Margin of Error (MoE) of ± 2.88 percent.