MIDWEST CITY, Oklahoma - There is still a significant teacher shortage in Oklahoma, according to the HR director at Mid-Del Schools. 

Mid-Del, hoping to get a jump on the competition, is holding a recruitment event Thursday, November 21.  

For the second year in a row, Mid-Del Schools will start recruiting teachers for next year before it's even Christmas break.

“March is the new June,” said Jason Perez, Mid-Del Schools Director of Human Relations. “We have to start hiring very early.”

It's out of necessity. Mid-Del Schools has more open positions than certified teachers to fill them. This year, it had over 100 emergency certified teachers. That’s 15 more than last year.

Perez is also on the State Department of Education's teacher shortage task force.

“Every year that our legislature is putting more money into education than the year before, that’s an optimistic feeling. That’s nice to do. There’s a sense of frustration that it’s not enough at this point. Especially when we want the highest quality educators for our kids,” said Perez.

Perez said according to the State Department of Education, the number one reason teachers are still leaving is pay and funding. Still, he believes the raises have helped with retention, but so far not recruitment.

Universities told Perez the number of student teachers this year is about at the same level from the year before.

“These incoming freshmen into college, they’re making a decision as to what they want to do as a career option. Many still have the mindset that education’s not where they want to go because the money’s not there. We need to continue to change that narrative,” said Perez.

The Mid-Del recruitment event is for anyone who is interested in becoming a teacher or even an emergency certified teacher. It’s scheduled for Thursday, November 21 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Soldier Creek Elementary. Click here for more information.