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Districts continue to struggle to fill teaching positions as school year approaches

Officials estimate 10-15% of teachers left Wisconsin school districts during the pandemic.
Officials estimate 10-15% of teachers left Wisconsin school districts during the pandemic.(WMTV)
Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 5:30 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Wisconsin is experiencing teacher turnover. Many educators have retired, taken a leave of absence, or left the career altogether during the pandemic.

Districts are still trying to fill teaching positions left open last year.

According to a research survey released by RAND in June, almost a quarter of U.S. teachers said they were likely to leave their job by the end of the 2021 school year.

One-third of teachers say they were responsible for caring for their own kids while also teaching.

The Wisconsin Association of School Personnel Administrators (WASPA) estimates state districts lost somewhere between 10-15% of their staff last school year.

Many are still working to fill the holes as the first day inches into view.

“It’s a scramble right now,” Exec. Dir. Susan Muenter said. “It depends on the district and what supply they have available to them, there’s only so many teachers to go around and that depletes the number of teachers who can go around to sub.”

Muenter hopes this year, teachers will consider returning to the classroom.

“I’m also hopeful that some of the retirees may choose to come back and sub for us, that is a vital pool of qualified and experienced teachers that we love to have that they’re able to come back and provide us with a really robust sub pool,” Muenter said.

The same national survey released by RAND found the changes to virtual instruction and health were the highest ranked stressors for US teachers last year. One in four said they were likely to leave the profession.

Prior to the pandemic, that statistic was one in six.

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