TULSA -- The school year is right around the corner and children are getting ready to head back to class. But the Tulsa Public Schools district is scrambling to find people to teach those children.
The district has seen an increase in applications over the last three weeks, but positions still remain open and the district is looking to have them filled by Aug. 21.
It's only a matter of time until every chair in the empty classroom is occupied.
"We already have an increase in class size due to the budget cuts," Nathan Hale High School principal Sheila Riley said.
But that may not be enough.
"It makes it difficult when the classes are so packed," Riley said.
Riley said she needs six teachers.
"Those 34 students get split between the other two or three teachers," she said. "They could have 42 to 43 kids in a class."
The district has 39 teaching positions to fill by the 21st.
"There's an emergency certification that the state offers each year when districts are deficient in teachers," she said.
Salaries start at $31,000. But border states like Texas and Arkansas begin at almost $40,000.
"Do they want an advocate pay for the job that they do?" Riley said. "Sure you better believe it. Do they get it? No they don't."
Principal Riley says there's 40 percent less applicants in the pool this year than previous years.
"You have to usually sift through many applicants to find a fit for your school," she said.
So a lot of resumes wind up in the trash, before they find the perfect name to add to the classroom window.
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