Filed Under: U.S.

With school year underway, districts still struggle to fight teacher shortage

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As the school year gets underway in part of the country, school districts are still introducing new measures to combat the ongoing teacher shortage. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the public school teacher workforce has shrunk by 280,000 over the past two years.

According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, 44% of public schools reported teacher vacancies. Teachers are not the only sector of the education system in a hiring crisis. Custodial positions had the most vacancies outside of teachers in the public school system. Transportation and nutrition vacancies also remain prevalent nationwide. Over half of all open positions were due to resignations. Three out of five schools cited the COVID-19 pandemic as a contributing factor to this increase.

It is a problem in many states, but Florida has one of the highest teacher vacancy rates. Florida just passed a bill hoping to quickly fill 8,000 teacher positions in an attempt to ease the harm of the shortage as the school year begins. Military veterans with no experience or college degree can become a teacher if they pass a test on their subject area. The bill, passed in July, gives military veterans, as well as their spouses, a five-year voucher that allows them to teach in the classroom. Qualifying veterans will have served at least four years in the military with an honorable discharge. Candidates must also have at least 60 college credits and have attained at least a 2.5 GPA.

Chicago Public Schools are paying some parents up to $500 to drive their children to school after not hiring enough bus drivers to fill their routes ahead of the first day of school. Buffalo Public Schools will consider reimbursing parents 58.5 cents per mile if they have to cancel bus routes ahead of the school year.

Karah Rucker: IT IS BACK TO SCHOOL SEASON…WITH SOME SCHOOLS BACK IS SESSION THIS WEEK.
OTHERS’ FIRST DAY IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER.
STUDENTS MAY NOTICE THEY’VE GOT MORE CLASSMATES INSIDE THEIR CLASSROOMS THIS YEAR.
IT’S ONE WAY DISTRICTS ARE COMBATTING TEACHER VACANCIES AS HIRING DEADLINES COULDN’T BE REACHED.
TODAY’S PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHER WORK FORCE HAS SHRUNK BY MORE THAN A QUARTER MILLION POSITIONS IN JUST TWO YEARS.
THAT’S ACCORDING TO THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.
FLORIDA JUST PASSED A BILL HOPING TO QUICKLY FILL EIGHT THOUSAND TEACHER POSITIONS.
MILITARY VETERANS WITH NO EXPERIENCE OR COLLEGE DEGREE CAN BECOME A TEACHER IF THEY PASS A TEST ON THEIR SUBJECT AREA.
TEACHERS AREN’T THE ONLY SECTOR OF THE EDUCATION SYSTEM IN A HIRING CRISIS.
SOME DISTRICTS ARE PAYING PARENTS UP TO 500 DOLLARS TO DRIVE THEIR CHILDREN TO SCHOOL WITH NOT ENOUGH BUS DRIVERS TO FILL THEIR ROUTES AHEAD OF THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL.

As the school year gets underway in part of the country, school districts are still introducing new measures to combat the ongoing teacher shortage. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the public school teacher workforce has shrunk by 280,000 over the past two years.

According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, 44% of public schools reported teacher vacancies. Teachers are not the only sector of the education system in a hiring crisis. Custodial positions had the most vacancies outside of teachers in the public school system. Transportation and nutrition vacancies also remain prevalent nationwide. Over half of all open positions were due to resignations. Three out of five schools cited the COVID-19 pandemic as a contributing factor to this increase.

It is a problem in many states, but Florida has one of the highest teacher vacancy rates. Florida just passed a bill hoping to quickly fill 8,000 teacher positions in an attempt to ease the harm of the shortage as the school year begins. Military veterans with no experience or college degree can become a teacher if they pass a test on their subject area. The bill, passed in July, gives military veterans, as well as their spouses, a five-year voucher that allows them to teach in the classroom. Qualifying veterans will have served at least four years in the military with an honorable discharge. Candidates must also have at least 60 college credits and have attained at least a 2.5 GPA.

Chicago Public Schools are paying some parents up to $500 to drive their children to school after not hiring enough bus drivers to fill their routes ahead of the first day of school. Buffalo Public Schools will consider reimbursing parents 58.5 cents per mile if they have to cancel bus routes ahead of the school year.

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