Indiana facing teacher shortage

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INDIANAPOLIS (WANE)- School districts across Indiana are dealing with teacher shortages. According to a new survey,  even more districts are feeling the impact now than in 2016. So, what’s going on?

More than 130 District Superintendents in the survey said they have a teacher shortage right now.

Indiana’s Governor and the state Superintendent of Public Education both said Thursday morning, they’ve got plans to fix it.

Dr. Jennifer McCormick, Indiana’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction said Tuesday morning   “It is a concern. I don’t think there’s anyone across the state who isn’t concerned.”

Some 94 percent of Indiana District Superintendents recently surveyed say they have a teacher shortage right now.

Dr. Jennifer McCormick explained  “We’re  dealing with those struggles in teacher shortage. Not just sometimes in quantity, but quality. I would say that goes into administration as well. We’re all dealing with that.”

This is the third year Indiana State University professor, Terry McDaniel, has done this survey. In it, nearly 70 percent of Superintendents said they’ve got a shortage in special education teachers. Fifty-seven percent said their shortages are in math and science. McDaniel said many teachers are leaving the industry and few are coming in. State Superintendent Jennifer McCormick said  her office is already working with other state officials on the problem.

Dr. Jennifer McCormick explained “For the first time, we’ve hired a talent officer to really dive into retention and attraction issues. How do we get good people in the classrooms? How do we get those students who are interested in teaching?”

The survey found 23 percent of districts lean on full-time substitutes to cope.

Superintendents in the survey said poor pay is one of their biggest hurdles when it comes to attracting qualified candidates. Governor Eric Holcomb said it’s a problem that has a  statewide impact.

“We also have shortages in 5 key sectors out there,” Governor Holcomb (R) Indiana, explained. “When you have about 100,000 unfilled jobs across the state of Indiana, we have to do everything we can to make sure we get our kiddos off on that right first step.”

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