Teacher shortage makes central Michigan school districts more creative

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SAGINAW, Mich., (WNEM) – As the school year approaches, school districts across the country are facing an uphill battle with a teacher shortage.

Some of our local schools have been able to avoid being small educators by being proactive.

“The shortage is real. This is real in our area, our state and our nation,” said Hemlock Public School District Superintendent Dr. Don Killingbeck.

Students are preparing to return to school in the coming days, but an ongoing nationwide teacher shortage has left many school districts scrambling to fill positions in time for the first day of school.

A survey by Education Week found that 72% of school districts in the United States lack candidates to fill teaching vacancies.

“The shortage of educators has put the future of our students at risk,” Michigan Education Association spokesman Thomas Morgan said.

Statistics from the United States Bureau of Labor also indicated that there were 280,000 fewer teachers in public schools than before the pandemic.

To prevent this, the Michigan Education Association says government leaders must do three things.

“They need to make sure they increase pay – they need to make sure elected leaders listen to the advice of educators before making policy decisions – We need to make sure we treat educators like the professionals they are “, says Morgan.

Many school districts have had to get creative with filling spots, including relaxing their application requirements.

An Oscoda area schools official said they planned to fill all positions before the start of the next school year.

“One of the most important things is to be proactive, if you can. Sometimes you don’t know because your positions only open up at the last minute,” said Charlie Negro, Chief Funding Officer. categorical for Oscoda.

They partnered with Saginaw Valley State University to complete a one-year program to earn certification and can potentially lead to a full-time position, Killingbeck said.

“These creative experiential programs are crucial in helping us fill classrooms with great teachers,” Killingbeck said.

In addition to the shortage of teachers, reports show that there is also a dire need for bus drivers. With days until classes resume, many school districts have their hands full.

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