Communications & Public Affairs
Feb. 12, 2019

Contact: Wes Carter, Press Secretary
Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus
Phone: (405) 962-7674

House Democrats Respond to OSDE Study on Education Workforce

OKLAHOMA CITY – Minority Leader Emily Virgin, D-Norman, released the following statement today in response to The Oklahoma Educator Supply & Demand Report released by the Oklahoma State Department of Education, which showed that 30,000 teacher or 10 percent of the teaching workforce has left the profession in the last six years.

“As alarming as this number is, we knew teachers were leaving the state in droves,” Leader Virgin said. “We completely agree with Superintendent Joy Hofmeister that this problem stems from steep budgets cuts over the last decade, and that those cuts have made the teaching profession in Oklahoma less desirable.

“Nobody wants to work in an environment that is understaffed and overcrowded. Throw in a few lawmakers that want to work harder to silence teachers than listen to them, and it is easy to see why teachers are leaving.

“There is only one way to reverse this trend. We must restore funding to education, and we must reestablish respect for the teaching profession.

“Last week, House and Senate Democrats introduced the unified Brand New State agenda, which addresses both of these issues. We hope that as budgets talks begin, our colleagues on the other side will work with us to address this crisis.”