Stitt Announces Executive Order Aimed To Get Kids Back In Classrooms

Tuesday, January 18th 2022, 5:12 pm


Oklahoma's 32,000 state employees will be authorized to substitute teach at schools across the state as part of an executive order issued by Gov. Kevin Stitt. 

"Oklahoma students deserve that option of being in person, in class with their teachers," Stitt said at a press conference Tuesday. 

The plan will be implemented by Oklahoma's Secretary of Education Ryan Walters, "tomorrow, we expect" Stitt said. 

 The announcement comes as many Oklahoma schools have been unable to staff classrooms adequately for in-person learning. 

The government employees will continue being paid by the state - and not the school districts. State officials said this kind of shuffle has been done before when the state's unemployment office was slammed with calls at the beginning of the pandemic. 

Oklahoma City Public Schools were hoping to get back to in-person learning Tuesday, but district leaders decided to remain virtual until Wednesday. District leaders will notify parents by sometime Tuesday evening. 

In the Putnam City district, Putnam City High School and James L. Capps Middle School are remaining virtual. All other Putnam City students are back in class. 

Edmond Public Schools are bringing students back Tuesday except for Heartland Middle School, first graders at Northern Hills Elementary, kindergarteners at Orvis Risner, and kindergarteners and fifth graders at Ida Freeman Elementary. The district hopes to have those students back in schools by Thursday. 

Piedmont, Mustang, Mid-Del and Deer Creek are all returning to in-person learning Tuesday. 

In his press conference, Stitt all Oklahomans to do what they can to help school districts in their area. 

"The core mission of all 32,000 state employees is to serve the public and to help make Oklahoma a top 10 state. Right now, that means helping, stepping up to help their schools," Stitt said.