Connor S. Oklahoma

Education crisis

Cross state competition in teachers pay is leading to discrepancies in teacher quality in lower socio economic levels causing teachers and students to receive the short end of the stick.

Dear Mr. or Mrs. President

Hello Mr. or Mrs. President my name is Connor Sharp and I live in Oklahoma and my concern for writing you today are educational issues. I understand that specific education policies especially those of specific state issue fall very low on your list of priorities yet I think that this problem can affect many states across the country and is a growing national issue.

From early level grade school all the way up to collegiate level study I truly believe that the system is broken and isn’t working for the people that it needs too and that is the students. The education system is a vast network of intricate parts and I am aware that it is impossible to make everyone happy however especially in states like Oklahoma where education based budget cuts are at all time highs I think these issues need to be addressed. I am a student at Edmond memorial high school and I have been fortunate enough to not have been so aggressively affected by the budget cuts however I am one of few in the state overall. Numerous schools across the state have gone down to four day school weeks or cut teachers pay or eliminated different programs all because of poor allocation of state budgeting.

I would like to target the idea of teachers pay in Oklahoma because right now there is a crisis. Teachers pay in Oklahoma has dropped to the number one lowest teacher salaries and with the influence of tenor this is killing the education system. How do you attract the best, brightest and most passionate people to be teachers? The answer today is that you don’t. You don’t attract them into the industry because there are few pull factors too it. Again I have been lucky to live in a bubble like district where the teachers are their because they enjoy what they do and I have therefore received an amazing education yet I know many of my teachers who have to rely on second jobs or spouses and family members in order to keep their lifestyle. This is where the problem arises because in this system the people that are the best and brightest are pulled into higher paying and honestly less influential fields. When building a better future for our country it first starts with our kids and I can tell you there are numerous teachers in my life that have had positive impacts on my future but never once has an oil and natural gas engineer had the same affect so why should there be such a gap in pay that would attract intelligent people away from this field. I have been fortunate but I cannot speak for all of those who have not been. There are schools that have hired uncertified and unqualified teachers. Imagine a student who has had nothing but disinterested, disgruntled and ineffective teachers to learn from, this is no way to positively impact our future. Not only are we hiring ineffective and under qualified teachers because we have no choice but it also nearly impossible to fire teachers who aren’t doing their jobs well. This is where we need to improve. To raise teachers pay is to positively influence the lives of students nationwide. With increased pay more intelligent and passionate people would be drawn to the field thus increasing every student’s opportunity to impact the future.

This may be a local issue but I think it needs to be addressed on a national level. I think there needs to mandated national minimums for teacher pay that can be proportional to each states cost of living thus minimizing cross state competition for effective teachers.