TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa Public Schools says it's still hiring teachers ahead of the new school year, but the district will have fewer emergency certified teachers than it did this time last year.

TPS says it's still needing to hire nearly 70 teachers but some people are still in the interview process.

The district says it has a smaller number of emergency certified teachers going into this school year, with nearly 350 to date compared to 390 for the entire last year.

Many of those teachers have been trained through the district's new Tulsa Teacher Corps and administrators say they believe these are quality teachers and believe in the training they have.

Quentin Liggins, who is TPS' talent acquisition and retention director, says they've been able to keep more teachers for the upcoming school year compared to last year and he attributes that to teacher pay raises and school leaders taking more of a hands-on approach to help teachers.

"We haven't seen as many teachers leave the district this year so it's that sweet spot where we want to get the right person in the right position," said Liggins.

The goal is to have these teachers in place by the beginning of the school year, which starts August 21st.