OSSBA Survey Demonstrates the Urgency to Pass SQ 779

August 22, 2016

The following statement can be attributed to OEA President Alicia Priest:

“Today, the Oklahoma State School Boards Association released the results of its third annual survey of school districts across the state regarding the ongoing teacher shortage crisis. This year, school districts are scrambling to fill over 500 vacancies at the front of Oklahoma classrooms.  Worse still is that the vacancies are those left after districts eliminated nearly 3,000 teaching and support professional positions.  There is no use trying to fill positions for which there is no funding.  

“As the 2016-17 school year begins, the survey shows that nearly every subject in every grade is affected by the teacher shortage, leaving students choosing from fewer course offerings and sitting in larger classes.  With the vast majority of districts participating, the results show clearly that Oklahoma has yet to address this multi-year crisis in any meaningful way.

“The members of the Oklahoma Education Association believe our only hope lies in the votes we will cast on November 8.  State Question 779 will raise over $600 million for public education, including a $5,000 raise for every K-12 teacher.  It is the only legitimate plan Oklahomans have to change our current course of shortchanging Oklahoma’s students and teachers. 

“There are far too few voices among our elected officials advocating for better fiscal policy to pull our state out of this recession, so casting votes for pro-public education candidates is more important this year than ever.  If Oklahomans want better for their children, they’ll have to say so in the ballot box on November 8.”


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