School districts facing teaching shortage

Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 6:37 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - With school resuming in a few weeks, local school districts are finding it hard to fill empty teacher positions.

Former teachers are now choosing different career paths. According to the Texas chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, educators are concerned about working conditions, environment, and salary.

“We need to start valuing our educators as the professionals that we are,” Hannah Reyes, a retired teacher, said.

School districts in Texas are having trouble finding qualified educators for this school year.

“The workload and responsibilities for all educators continued to increase in not only quantity but complexity since the onset of the pandemic,” Reyes said. “Each year, no matter how many hours I was putting into working outside of instruction, I could never catch up.”

School districts are offering incentives for new and veteran teachers, but educators believe this may not be enough.

“It’s just heartbreaking and I feel like if we don’t do something now if the state of Texas doesn’t realize now, the amount of work and responsibilities that are being added each year to teachers, we’re going to continue to see a teacher shortage,” Reyes said.

College graduates with student loans fear a teacher’s salary may not be enough to cover payments and live with recent inflation.

“One thing about teachers that I can tell you is they’re very resilient,” Daniel Hutchins, Midway ISD principal, said. “They get into this business because they care about children, they care about watching them succeed and grow and learn. It’s definitely not something you jump into for the great huge financial windfall.”

School districts are now looking to hire long-term substitutes if they cannot find full-time teachers by the start of the year.

“One thing to remember at the end of the day, we are a government entity, you know, we work for the state and the state has a formula that they use to send money to the schools, so really it comes down to people need to talk to their legislature,” Hutchins said.

If you are interested in supplemental income or more work-life balance and schedule flexibility, substitute teaching may be a good choice.

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