Central Illinois school districts feel impact of teacher shortage

As the start of the school year draws closer, local districts are realizing just how shallow the pool is for new teachers.

With the first day of school getting closer each day, some superintendents are getting nervous. They say they're seeing a smaller number of applicants, typically in subjects that were never a problem to fill in the past, like elementary education or high school English and art.

"At the high school level, there's really not a position that we will post that we feel confident we'll get a good pool of candidates." Superintendent of IVC Schools, Chad Allison, explains.

Districts that once saw hundreds of applicants for a single position are now only seeing a few. Metamora's superintendent says, for the first time, they've been forced to get creative with more advertising for teacher openings.

In areas like special education, math and science, the challenges to fill those positions only continue to grow. 

Allison says less people are choosing to become teachers in Illinois because of uncertainty about retirement and mounting requirements to get into the field.
   
"With increased requirements to get into the field and then not having you know the stability we thought we had from funding to retirement, I think it's scaring a lot of people into going into fields other than education," Allison says.  "I think a real telling sign is when you ask a current educator would you recommend your son or daughter whose graduating from high school they go into education and the number of teachers that would say I just couldn't currently recommend it to my kids...that's killing education as an opportunity and for us then getting good candidates."

Some districts are dipping into their substitute pools to fill open positions.


 


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