Editorial: Reasons for a teacher shortage

Public schools have a teacher shortage and it’s not rocket science to understand why.

Liberals say the shortage is caused by a lack of teacher pay and that is true to an extent. They won’t tell you that teacher pay is determined by each district, not by the Legislature. And they won’t tell you that having too many overpaid administrators siphons pay from classroom teachers.

Tulsa Public Schools raises hundreds of millions of dollars in new property taxes yet won’t pay much of a living wage to teachers who have to buy some of their own supplies.

Smart, dedicated teachers who work in the public schools quickly learn that discipline in certain schools is impossible to maintain. They see that bright, hard-working pupils are slowed down by students that don’t care about their education and have a general disdain for authority.

Christian teachers are told to keep their faith to themselves and district lawyers tell superintendents to stop public prayers at football games and graduation ceremonies.

The fiscal irresponsibility of 100 years of Democrat leadership in the Legislature has built a teacher retirement system that is woefully underfunded (more than $10,000,000,000.00 for all state employees). So, new teachers won’t have much of a retirement scenario.

And career teachers are retiring at an earlier age because they can’t do what they love – teach. They inherit students who can’t read or do simple math plus a mountain of paperwork tied to federal education guidelines that do nothing but detract from the real purpose of schooling.

And with this shortage, more districts are petitioning for “emergency certificates” for teachers, a move that certainly won’t elevate instruction.

Most teachers don’t enter that profession to get rich. They want to mold young lives. It shouldn’t surprise federal and district officials that the environment they have created is driving away good educators.