The Atlantic

For Teachers, the Money Keeps Getting Worse

When classroom jobs were female college graduates’ best option, U.S. schools could skimp on wages. To fill vacancies now, districts and state legislatures need to offer competitive pay.
Source: Kacper Pempel / Reuters

As kids and parents settle into another school year, principals and superintendents in districts across the country are still scrambling to fill vacant teaching positions. The severity of the shortages varies from state to state; across urban, suburban, and rural districts; and from one subject area to another. The number of unfilled positions is greatest in high-needs schools, such as those with high poverty rates or a disproportionate number of students with learning disabilities or English-language deficiencies.

If past experience holds true, many vacancies in September will morph into permanent shortages that continue throughout the year. In Arizona, for example, a survey conducted in December 2017—months after class started—by an association of public-school personnel administrators in the state . When kids are expecting routine, consistency, and continuity, many face the opposite. On harms student achievement and depletes school budgets. It also adds to the frustrations that led to a last year.

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