In The Classroom: Teacher surplus

By: Ryan Loyd Email
By: Ryan Loyd Email

DURANT, Okla. -- Rising gas prices are probably affecting more areas of life than we think. And according to one principal in southern Oklahoma, it may be the reason why he's seeing an increase in teacher applicants this year.

"It's unusual to have this many quality applicants this time of year," said Durant Intermediate School Principal Tod Harrison.

Teachers are choosing to stay closer to home, and instead of Oklahoma educators heading south to Texas, many are staying right at home to save on gas. "It's costing money and it's not affordable anymore," Harrison said.

Some teachers say when it comes to salary, Oklahoma doesn't quite compare to Texas. But 4th grade teacher Terecia Webb says, "I've always felt like I should stay here. My children are in school here. I think there's a lot of benefits to being here."

Schools across the country constantly deal with staffing issues. More often than not, however, districts face teacher shortages. It just so happens that in Harrison's school this year, the tide is turning.

KXII also checked with several other school districts in Oklahoma. Ardmore schools are facing a big shortage this year, especially in the areas of: high school math, and elementary positions (librarians, counselors).

There are no big concerns in Tishomingo, but Superintendent Ron Hutchings reports fewer candidates are applying this year than in past years.

And in Caddo, the school is not having to hire or replace anyone as of yet, so the situation looks good. However, Superintendent Richard Thomas says he'd be hard-pressed to fill positions in math or chemistry, especially, if any of those subject's teachers decided to leave.


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  • by HERE Location: GONE on Apr 30, 2008 at 07:51 AM
    YOU KNOW MY KIDS LIVE A MILE FROM HIGH SCHOOL AND I WORK ABOUT 1 MILE FROM WORK AND YOU KNOW ITS SAD I DONT WANT TO GO HOME FOR LUNCH BECAUSE OF THE GAS I WASTE GOING BACK AND FOURTH EVERYDAY AND I DONT HAVE A LONG CUMMUTE I DID HAVE TO DRIVE TO DENTON EVERYDAY BUT I COULDNT AFFORD TO DO THAT NOW I WOULD HAVE HAD TO QUIT MY JOB AND WORK IN SHERMAN ITS CRAZY AND THEY SAY GAS WILL GO UP TO $4.00 A GAL BY THE END OF MAY
  • by L.C.Clyde Location: Texas on Apr 29, 2008 at 02:44 PM
    This is a true situation.For 30 years I chose to commute to Dallas in order to make $25 an hour for a good living now gas prices have made it a no win situation.I had just might as well work here.But the immigrant labor has eroded wages to a point that you are working for nothing.Wages have never kept up with the real cost of living .Unless we as Americans wake up and DEMAND our leaders work in our interest and do whats good for THIS COUNTRY it wont be long and OUR young will be on the "Feed The Childen" commercials. No more middle class either very rich or very poor and history shows very poor are easy to manipulate
  • by Anonymous on Apr 29, 2008 at 12:39 PM
    With how bad gas prices are getting, it's often more affordable to take a lower-paying job closer to home than it is to commute to a higher-paying job!
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