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Why a North Carolina District Went All the Way to Oklahoma to Recruit Teachers

The hunt for good teachers took officials from North Carolina's Guilford County Schools 1,000 miles west to downtown Oklahoma City.

The North Carolina school district set up camp in the city for a two-day recruiting event, reports KWTV, the CBS affiliate in Oklahoma City. They hope five-figure salary bumps will entice Oklahoma teachers to move to the school district, which includes Greensboro, N.C., and nearby suburbs. As we reported last week, Oklahoma is expected to slip to last place in teacher pay after the legislature failed to agree on a method to fund teacher raises and voters rejected a penny sales tax. Back in November, voters struck down a ballot initiative that would have used that new tax revenue to fund $5,000 teacher pay raises. 

"It is unfortunate that this type of recruiting is occurring," Aurora Lora, the superintendent of Oklahoma City Public Schools, told KFOR, the NBC affiliate in Oklahoma City. "However, until Oklahoma adequately funds education, our concern is that there may be more of these attempts to lure our great teachers to other states where teachers feel more valued."

Chelsea Battig, a prospective teacher looking to leave the state, agrees.

"Just the support of the state in general, when they didn't pass the penny tax, I mean, come on," Battig told KWTV. "With this opportunity, you're starting off right away with more than $10,000 than in Oklahoma."  

George Boschini, a 40-year veteran educator from the North Carolina district, told KWTV that he has heard similar sentiments from fellow veteran teachers he's talked to while recruiting in Oklahoma.

With no raises in sight, some Oklahoma administrators have been pitching four-day school weeks, which have been prompted by the growing state budget crunch, as a benefit for staying in the state, reports The Washington Post.

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