Schools scramble once again to find teachers

  • by:
  • Source: NBC News
  • 08/30/2023
Vance Varner is heading into another school year desperately searching for teachers and staff members: an English instructor, a special education teacher, a speech therapist.

Varner, the superintendent of schools in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, a rural community 30 minutes from the Penn State campus, said four of his teacher positions are still vacant less than a month before the start of school. He said that with some positions getting zero applications, he is preparing to fill some of the vacancies with people who have no teaching experience or training, which he rarely had to do a decade ago.

“There’s a perfect storm in education right now, especially in rural communities such as ours,” said Varner, who has worked as a teacher and an administrator in Mifflin County for 25 years.

As millions of students get ready to head back to the classroom, school districts are once again scrambling to fill jobs as teacher shortages aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic show little signs of improving for yet another school year, according to interviews with more than a dozen academic researchers, teachers and administrators in rural, suburban and urban school districts.

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