Education Leaders Respond To Stitt's Executive Order


Tuesday, January 18th 2022, 6:46 pm


OKLAHOMA CITY -

Education leaders are responding to Governor Kevin Stitt’s new plan to keep kids learning in-person.  

Stitt announced Tuesday that state agency employees would be authorized to work as substitute teachers to address a shortage in schools.  

Superintendent of El Reno public schools Craig McVay said their district is doing everything it can to keep kids in-person and they could’ve used this solution in the past.  

“Ya know, is that something that could have been done 20 months ago and we could have vetted a process, and we could have gotten real volunteers sometime in the last 20 months? Or is this just political grandstanding…and if it is, it's really not helpful,” McVay said.  

Staffing shortages reached a crescendo last week as the Omicron variant sent many schools to virtual learning — but this comes after nearly two years of disruption.  

“If we had public policy during the pandemic that was more forward thinking, we would have done a better job of mitigating the virus, and we wouldn't have had so many missed student days and missed teacher days and so many substitutes choosing not to be in the sub pool any longer,” said Dr. Rick Cobb, superintendent of Mid-Del Public Schools.  

Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister says the four-to-six-week delay for new subs to get a required FBI background check will hold up the plan.  

“This is a meager initiative that could have good benefits perhaps in the future. but in terms of helping Oklahomans move through a tsunami of a surge with covid, it is not the answer,” Hofmeister said.  

Hofmeister wants to see Governor Stitt deploy the National Guard to help fill support positions in schools.  

If you want to become a substitute teacher, the best way to get started is by contacting your local school district.