Teachers Are Missing More School, and There Are Too Few Substitutes

Schools across the country have faced no shortage of challenges since the pandemic. Students are behind academically. Cases of misbehavior are up. Students are absent far more frequently than before.

But there is another problem that has left some school districts scrambling. Teachers are also missing more school.

Teachers typically receive paid sick days and a small number of personal days. Over the 2022-23 school year in New York City, nearly one in five public schoolteachers was absent 11 days or more, an increase from the previous year and from before the pandemic. In Michigan, roughly 15 percent of teachers were absent in any given week last school year, compared with about 10 percent in 2019, researchers found.

More recently, teacher absences forced a school in Ohio to close for a day, and left high school students in Massachusetts to gather in the cafeteria during class time with little supervision.

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Back to School by Kelli Tungay is licensed under Unsplash unsplash.com

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