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Chicken-Fried News: Emergency education

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  • Fried chicken drumstick in isolated white background

More than 1,100 emergency teacher certifications have been issued for the 2016-17 fiscal year. That’s three times the amount of emergency certifications issued last June and still leaves 800-1,000 teaching positions in Oklahoma vacant.

So the education crisis in this state is really bad, but everyone already knew that.

Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister said it best when she told the state board of education, “We wouldn’t expect to go to a physician who has no training and no experience and say, ‘You know, here’s somebody who just loves people.’ We’d know that wasn’t best practice, and we wouldn’t stand for that.”

Nobody would want to be operated on by a surgeon lacking qualifications no matter how good their intentions were. So what’s with the laissez-faire attitude about who’s imparting Oklahoma’s children with knowledge?

This attitude has been displayed through the failure to pass State Question 779, a penny sales tax toward education and the Legislature failing to come to a revenue agreement that would have funded a $6,000 pay raise for teachers over the next three years.

Hats off to those who were willing to help meet the needs of the Oklahoma education system.

Hats back on to the fact that the state of Oklahoma values education so little that we’re allowing qualified educators like 2016 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Shawn Sheehan to walk out the door without even trying to run after them.

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