School districts across the country are experiencing a shortage of substitute teachers amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report.
The shortage was documented by The Hechinger Report – a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education.
Schools nationwide had only filled about 54% of 250,000 teacher vacancies on any given day pre-coronavirus, according to a survey of more than 2,000 educators released early last year by the EdWeek Research Center, and the pandemic has exacerbated the issue, the report found.
To fix the problem created when regular teachers cannot be in the classroom, Jeremiah Hough, a businessowner and vice president of the Lebanon School Board in Missouri, said that in December he proposed offering substitute teaching opportunities to his company’s administrative employees.
“I don’t think that we fixed the problem, but we are part of the solution,” Hough said in the Hechinger report.