Oklahoma City Public Schools will soon be receiving two new teachers from Teach for America, the national organization that aims to provide teachers for two years to some of the toughest inner-city school districts in the country. The organization employs professionals or top college graduates in different professions and offers them crash courses in teaching to help provide students throughout the country with access to equal educational opportunities.
In addition, the Oklahoma City School Board has approved the hiring of 70 more Teach for America teachers for the 2012-2013 school year. Currently, there are only 54 first-year Teach for America teachers in Oklahoma City after two dropped out of the program before the end of the fall semester. According to Sandra Park, Deputy Superintendent, the new teachers will be based in schools that have previously hosted teachers from Teach for America. They will mostly be covering pre-kindergarten positions since the entire city is heading toward an all-day pre-kindergarten program.
By bringing on 70 additional new teachers, the school system will incur an added cost of $280,000. Executive Director Lance Tackett explained that this is only a fraction of the $2.4 million that it will actually cost to provide support to the 122 teachers. Private donors and businesses will be making financial contributions to cover the rest of the expense.