The Real Story Behind Teacher Shortages

How the pandemic is impacting districts already short on highly qualified teachers, and could slow efforts to spend federal pandemic relief dollars earmarked for student programs and services (EWA Radio Episode 278)

Allison Shelley for EDUimages

Across the country, school districts are grappling with staffing shortages that are making it tough to recover from the disruptions of the COVD-19 pandemic. Matt Barnum, a national reporter at Chalkbeat, shares insights on the current landscape for school staffing, and debunks some of the often-repeated – but unsubstantiated – assumptions about what might be driving what appears to be a growing crisis. What were some of the preexisting issues around teacher shortages that have been exacerbated by the pandemic? What are districts doing to lure — and keep — more teachers? Who’s tracking the data nationally? And what does the research show about the risk to student learning of frequent teacher turnover? He also offers story ideas for local reporters, smart questions to pose to HR directors and school board members, and what to ask teachers themselves about their decisions to either quit or stay.

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