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Schools Are Looking to Fill Empty Teacher Desks and Bring Back Thousands of Missing Students
As schools welcome students back, administrators are facing a teacher and student shortage. We look at the issues and potential solutions.
As The 2023-2024 School Year Begins, K-12 Education Administrators Are Scrambling To Hire Enough Teachers For Their Classrooms
As students return to school in the fall of 2023, the lack of classroom teachers has become a nationwide problem.
School districts are trying their best to retain their existing teachers and recruit new ones.
Of course, teacher staffing shortages have been a perennial problem for school administrators, who often face difficulties in offering competitive pay.
But in this post-COVID period, the number of teachers entirely quitting the profession is making the situation more dire.
How are schools responding?
There are not many good options. With fewer teachers available, the teachers on staff need to pick up the slack, either by taking on more classes or teaching classrooms (https://formaspace.com/
In response, many schools are cutting back on class offerings, canceling non-essential enrichment classes to move teachers into core studies, or allowing trainee teachers to run the classroom. In some cases, there are reports that school districts are calling in school bus drivers to be substitute teachers after their morning transportation runs.
Teacher Shortages Are Especially Problematic In Florida
Florida's education system has been especially hard hit. According to the Florida Education Association, the state has come up short in hiring 8,000 teachers and 6,000 support staff.
One reason for the shortfall could be the divisive new legislation that has put teachers in the cross-hairs of the current political debates over what gets taught in K-12 schools.
In quite a few cases, Florida teachers are leaving the state or leaving the profession to pursue other careers rather than be subject to firing over what they teach in school or, worse, legal action directed against them.
The nation's large teacher's union, the National Education Association, has launched a campaign to counter these new laws targeting teachers, but many fear it is too little too late.
Indeed, there is the potential that the political landscape could become even more radical in the future, with conservative activists calling for the elimination of the federal Department of Education and calling a halt to basic sex education in schools.