Hope for the Future

published by Theresa Cullen

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Hope for the Future - OK Teacher Flight
A Tough Decision
This study was completed in August/September 2017 by using snowball sampling on social media (Facebook advocacy groups and Twitter) to ask teachers who had left the state to fill out a survey about why they left.  287 total responses were received but this was reduced to 250 when duplicate, incomplete and invalid entries were removed. Specific sampling audience were teachers who had taught in Oklahoma after graduation for a least a year. All data are self-reported. 

The teachers that left Oklahoma discussed that it was a tough decision and they missed their families but in an overwhelming majority did not regret their decision. Many (approximately 31%) would consider coming back if they had comparable pay but also explained that respect for the profession would be necessary. Many of the respondents expressed that they had given up hope on Oklahoma fixing the education crisis and felt they had to move for the best interest of themselves and their family. 
For more information please contact Dr. Theresa Cullen at the University of Oklahoma [email protected]  The survey is still open at
Our hand was forced. As two educators with their first child, we couldn't afford to make our house payment, student loan payments, and pay bills. In the first 9 months of our son's life, we racked up $10,000 of credit card debt trying to make ends meet.
I miss my family. Neither my husband nor have not been able to take care of our parents the way we would like to. We are unable to have children of our own and miss getting to spend time with our niece and nephew.  I strongly feel that my success is largely based on the Oklahoma teachers who mentored and trained me ...
Participant Responses