A teacher shortage crisis is hitting districts in Tennessee, and districts are struggling to hire teachers with only weeks before school starts.
One example is Wilson County, where WKRN reports there are still 75 teaching vacancies just two weeks before students are slated to return.
Although the shortage is in all departments, the biggest discrepancy is in the teaching department where they are 75 teachers short across all 24 Wilson County schools.
“Some schools are experiencing a shortage, maybe more than another school, but across the board when you have a 75 teacher shortage going into the school year as of today, yeah, it raises a lot of concern,” said Barker.
In a state that continues to lag behind the rest of the nation in teacher pay and school funding, it’s no wonder there’s a shortage of teachers.
In fact, this result has been predicted for more than a decade now:
But the report points to a more pressing problem: A teacher shortage. Specifically, the report states:
Since 2009, Tennessee has identified shortages in the overall numbers of K-12 teachers needed for public schools as well as teachers for specific subjects. There is a critical need in the state for STEM teachers, as well as shortages in high school English, social studies, world languages, Pre-K through high school special education, and English as a second language.
So, we face a teacher shortage in key areas at the same time we are 40th in both average teacher pay and in improvement in salaries over time.
Besides the issue of pay, there’s the issue of respect. Rather, there’s the lack of respect teachers get from policymakers, including Gov. Bill Lee who sat idly by while a key education advisor disparaged teachers.
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