Northeast Oklahoma Districts Discuss Lack Of Education Funding
BARTLESVILLE, Oklahoma - As the Oklahoma legislature considers priorities for spending, some educators are saying more classroom funding is critical. And they're talking about dollars that are not part of the teacher pay raise.
The leaders of this school district and others around here say the teacher crisis is getting better, the problem of classroom funding is not.
On a cold night after a day when school was out, 50 people turned out to ask questions about what's needed next in the schools.
“We have good people applying, we don't have enough of them,” said Bartlesville Superintendent Chuck McCauley
This group of superintendents all said they're still short on teachers, even with the pay raise. But as Oklahoma's pay gets more competitive, they're now pointing out the lack of new money for everything else a school needs.
While the teacher shortage increases class sizes the superintendents want the legislature to consider more money for support staff and supplies.
Last year, Bartlesville's teachers were early leaders of the teacher walkout. This year, no talk about another walkout but they're clear that classroom funding now is as big of a priority as teacher salaries were then.
Teachers are still buying supplies and they are still not enough college students considering education a career.
They're just aren't enough in the pipeline,” Rick Peters, Caney Valley Superintendent.
Bartlesville has a hiring fair this Saturday as they look for new teachers. They're especially needing elementary grade teachers.