National Teacher Shortage Hits Home
Edder Martinez, Staffer
Teacher, and staff shortage have become commonplace ever since the Covid 19 pandemic; Even as the pandemic dies down staff shortages have not. With the 2022-23 school year beginning, several schools are still reporting vacant teaching positions.
This has led to larger than usual classroom sizes, overworked, overtired tired staff, and the school having to solve these issues in ways students, and staff haven’t seen before.
These shortages have impacted the LEE campus. The LEE campus and many Nationwide have seen an increased amount of vacant spots appear. Five teaching positions, two Special education Assistant spots, and a head swim coach spot have been left vacant at LEE.
Two of the five teaching positions left vacant were also special education related jobs. Special education teachers historically have been much harder to come across and the demand for special education teachers has only been exacerbated since the pandemic.
As of Mar 2021, it was reported out of the 57 percent of schools to have reported to have vacant spots 45 percent reported that special education had the leading amount of vacant spots according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Another set of positions that has seen severe understaffing on the campus is the service sector, Custodial staff, Bus drivers, and Food staff. These positions have been hard to come by and have also seen a high amount of turnover with these workers quitting not long after being hired
One of the biggest reasons teachers gave for resigning was because of their commute. With increased prices for gas and other commodities rising, a long commute to work has become more costly.
North East has been trying to counteract the issue by giving all of its employees a raise. “Well the district did give all employees a raise not as much as some people had expected or hoped for but it’s what the district could do.”, said principle of LEE David Crow.
Other ways the district has tried to solve staffing issues is by giving staff a referral bonus of up to 1,000 dollars when referring a bus driver or drivers assistant, something staff have never seen before.
The vacant swim coach spot is currently being filled by a swim club coach appointed by the athletics department at Blossom. This covers the coaching for the swim team, but not the teaching position that’s tied to the job.
The Schools and programs on campus have also quickly hired former student interns. LEE and ISA host several Trinity University student interns, and 2* ISA teachers, and another Teacher in STEM were Student Interns in the prior 2021-22 school year
Principles around the country have also made sure to keep up a network to keep each other updated on teachers who are moving to a new area looking for jobs. “Oh there’s always a network with administrators, and usually what I tell folk when they’re moving I always tell them to have them call me especially if they’re a good teacher,” said Mr. David Crowe. “People who do a good job, we make sure to take care of.”