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Districts in Oklahoma address teacher vacancies amid cuts, low salaries

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Posted at 2:55 PM, Aug 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-07 15:56:08-04

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Education administrators say Oklahoma's ongoing teacher shortage stems from declining numbers of college graduates who are trained to teach and relatively low teacher salaries that are a disincentive when recruiting from out-of-state.

Oklahoma City Public Schools spokesman Mark Myers says officials are trying to fill 37 teaching vacancies that are currently staffed by substitutes. That comes a few months after state budget cuts forced the district to eliminate more than 200 teaching positions.

The average K-12 salary in Oklahoma ranks 48th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia.

To address the shortage of qualified in-state applicants, the Oklahoma City district tried to recruit candidates from other states, but the program resulted in less than half a dozen hires before it was discontinued.

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