teacher shortage

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Low pay is being blamed for a teacher shortage in parts of rural Colorado.

As Colorado Public Radio reports, teachers’ salaries in rural Colorado can be over $20,000 lower than those in urban areas.

Kansas continues to face a teacher shortage, with schools reporting 440 vacancies this school year.

Those empty jobs worry educators because they force schools into workarounds, such as larger class sizes or long-term substitutes. They can also reduce class offerings and lessen support for special-education students.

Janet Waugh represents Kansas City, Kansas on the State Board of Education. She calls the situation heart breaking.

US Census Bureau / Wikimedia Commons

It’s no secret that Oklahoma is facing as major teacher crisis. But, as Oklahoma Watch reports, within that larger crisis is another problem. The state suffers from an increasingly dwindling pool of special education teachers.

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Oklahoma has now set a record for the number of emergency-certified teachers its hired this year. The state has been experiencing a statewide shortage of teachers, largely due to low teacher salaries and the problem of educators moving to other states for better pay and benefits.

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Over the past two months, the State of Oklahoma has approved almost 900 emergency teaching certificates.

As The Tulsa World reports, many classrooms in Oklahoma have yet to find teachers and droves of educators have moved to Texas and elsewhere, in search of better pay.

A fresh legal challenge to the state’s 2014 elimination of teacher job protections has reached the Kansas Supreme Court, close on the heels of a separate lawsuit that proved unsuccessful six months ago.

CELIA LLOPIS-JEPSEN / KANSAS NEWS SERVICE

In his 26 years at Meade Unified School District 226, a 400-student district southwest of Dodge City, Superintendent Kenneth Harshberger has watched the educational landscape change. 
Teachers are harder to recruit — even for elementary jobs, which were traditionally easier to fill. 
“The first time I tried to hire an elementary teacher 25, 26 years ago, we had over 100 applicants,” he recalled. “Now I can’t get five applicants.” 

Emily Wendler / KOSU

This year, Oklahoma lawmakers indicated once again that they were going to give teachers in the state raises. And, once again, the state Legislature failed to deliver.

The House even passed two budgets, one containing educator raises and one without them—and ultimately passed the one without raises.

Lawmakers couldn’t even pass a $1,000 teacher raise to keep up with inflation.

Like many other professions, rural Kansas is falling short on teachers, but so are some urban areas in the state. A new program at Kansas State University aims to change all that.

As KCUR reports, K-State has developed a one-year, online program for those with undergraduate degrees to take to get a masters’ degree in elementary teaching.

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The State of Oklahoma reported a $141 million budget surplus this month, reports KOCO. The extra funds will be distributed to state agencies based on need, as determined by the 2016 fiscal year budget.

KOCO

Oklahoma is struggling with a drastic teacher shortage, reports KOCO.

According to a recent survey Oklahoma districts have eliminated over 1,500 teaching positions since last school year. The state has also gotten rid of almost 1,400 school support positions. This amounts to a total of almost 3,000 education jobs lost in Oklahoma this year.

Last year, as a result of state budget cuts, Oklahoma school districts eliminated more than 2,000 positions.

Rural Colorado Struggles to Find Teachers

Oct 7, 2015
Jenny Brundin / CPR News

Colorado’s rural school districts are on the brink of crisis when it comes to finding enough teachers to fill the classrooms. Colorado is simply not producing enough teachers, reports Colorado Public Radio. Over the past five years, enrollments in the state's teacher prep schools are down 23 percent. Math, science and special education teachers are especially in demand. Colorado has begun to recruit educators in states with teacher surpluses, such as Michigan and Utah.